In our roundup of new pieces of legislation that went into effect on January 1st, we missed one that is a long overdue, positive step for the legions of workers who work for food delivery app companies like GrubHub and UberEats.

Assembly Bill 286 increases billing transparency for restaurants that use food delivery apps, making it illegal for those food delivery apps to keep any gratuity meant for workers, whether delivery or from the restaurant. Prior to COVID-19 and during the pandemic, restaurants and delivery workers accused businesses like Doordash of pocketing workers’ tips.

The new law is the latest effort to limit the rapacious nature of some food delivery apps, and comes two-plus years on the heels of the Mill Valley City Council’s unanimous approval of a 15 percent cap on the fees that app-based restaurant delivery services can charge. The regulation remains in effect, as does the Marin County Board of Supervisors’ identical cap for unincorporated Marin, which includes Strawberry, Tam Junction and parts of Alto.

The new law prohibiting food delivery apps from keeping any gratuity meant for workers joins a number of other food- and beverage-related laws, including a trio of bills Gov. Newsom signed in 2021 allowing restaurants and bars to expand outdoor/parklet service and alcohol sales, and to continue selling to-go beverages.

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