Here’s a thorny situation to pick apart. In the wake of all the unrest following the death of George Floyd, both Uber Eats and Postmates have come up with a promotional offer ostensibly being pushed out to promote unity and ease racial divisiveness. They’re offering to waive their delivery fees for any meals from restaurants with Black owners. For anyone who follows the news regularly, that proposal is probably setting off a couple of alarms. With all of the fair treatment laws in place and a general legal insistence on everyone and everything supposedly being “color blind,” is that something they can do, even if it sounds like a generous and helpful gesture?
The Free Beacon dug deeply into that question this week and found that the answer is… complicated. Like, extremely complicated, revolving around a number of factors including what state you’re placing the order in and whether or not you’re talking about federal, state or municipal laws.
New meal-delivery company promotions benefiting black-owned restaurants are raising legal questions about whether gig economy giants can offer race-based benefits.
The programs, announced by Uber Eats and Postmates following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, waive delivery fees for black-owned restaurants but make no such benefit available to other minority or white-owned businesses.
The legal questions are compounded by a lack of transparency surrounding the programs and seemingly random participant criteria. Postmates has already made missteps. At least two businesses owned by white or Arab proprietors were on curated lists and searches of black-owned restaurants on the Postmates Washington-area platform as recently as Tuesday. Both restaurants told the Washington Free Beacon that they were added without consultation and were removed following the Free Beacon‘s inquiries.