Instacart Shoppers’ Micro-Action Day 3: Filing a Wage Claim

TODAY’S MICRO-ACTION: Today, we are asking Shoppers to speak directly to Apoorva Mehta. Specifically, we are requesting Shoppers send an email to Apoorva Mehta telling him how much he owes you and that you intend to collect. A proposed email is included in the first link at the bottom.

In order to send this email, you only need to make a quick calculation of the amount Instacart owes you because you have been misclassified by Instacart as an independent contractor. (See below for more detailed instructions). Your calculation can be a rough estimate as your demand can be amended later when and if you file a wage claim with your state.

So, do that math, send that email, and then follow up by filing a wage claim with your state’s department of labor. [NOTE: You do not need to be certain about whether you will actually file a wage claim to send this email.]

Today is all about wage claims. This is going to be a bit different than our first two days because while we are going to be asking you to perform one action today, we are also going to be providing you with some of the basic information you can use to move forward on your own to file a wage claim with your state’s department of labor. You won’t be able to complete your wage claim filing today, but you will be able to make a great start and then you can finish up at your own pace.

Why are we talking about wage claims? We believe that the way Instacart utilizes Full-Service-Shoppers on the platform makes us employees rather than independent contractors and experts we’ve consulted agree that we have been misclassified by Instacart. As employees, we are entitled to be paid at least the prevailing minimum wage for all online hours on the platform. For most states, the tips we receive from customers do not count toward the minimum wage calculation. Employees also are entitled to receive overtime compensation, mandatory comped rest periods, and paid meal breaks according to the law of each states. Moreover, Instacart, as our employer, is required to reimburse us for the expenses we incur as FSSs, including, but limited to, mileage, pro rata cell phone expenses, and out-of-pocket costs for equipment (such as insulated bags, carts, wagons, etc.).

What is needed to file a wage claim? Every state has different requirements and forms. The second link below will lead you to your state’s rules regarding the filing of a wage claim.

While each state has specific filing requirements, the following is a widely applicable description of what is required:

(1) A cover letter describing why you believe you have been misclassified by Instacart. Next week we will be posting a sample of such a letter.

(2) A breakdown of the hours you have worked each week (Monday through Sunday). Again, this is your online hours. Because most of us do not always work a regular set of hours, most states require you to break down your specific hours. You can find your past hours on the app in two ways. You can click on “hours” and then “past shift hours” or you can click on “earnings” and then scroll down to and click on the relevant week. Remember: Most states have overtime laws that apply if you worked more than 8 hours in one day or more than 40 hours in one week.

(3) A calculation of the amount which you were entitled to be paid. For this, simply multiply the number of hours you worked each week by the minimum wage applicable in your state. Note: If you have worked for Instacart for several years, the minimum wage rate may be different in each year. Remember: Most states have overtime laws such that certain hours are paid at higher rates.

(4) A calculation of the amount you were paid by Instacart. This includes batch incentives (also shown as Instacart Payments) and any shopper bumps. For most states, your compensation does not include the tips you received from customers. You can find this information in the app by clicking on “earnings” and then clicking on each week.

(5) If you are claiming unreimbursed expenses, you will need to provide a list of those expenses organized by date.

(6) The identity and contact information for your employer. Easy peasy:

Apoorva Mehta

Chief Executive Officer

Maplebear, Inc. (dba Instacart)

50 Beale Street, Suite 600

San Francisco, CA 94105

Telephone: (888) 246–7822


Ashor Sundar

Finance Head

Maplebear, Inc. (dba Instacart)

41 South Park

San Francisco, CA 94107

Telephone: (888) 246–7822

We know this is a lot of information and a long post. Please feel free to ask questions, and we will answer as quickly and thoroughly as we possibly can.

An email template for contacting Instacart can be found here.

To find a link to file a wage claim in your state please click here.