Are Instacart Employees Independent Contractors

Are Instacart Employees Independent Contractors?

Instacart is an on-demand grocery delivery service that allows customers to order groceries online from local stores and have them delivered to their doorsteps. The service has gained tremendous popularity in recent times, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, where customers prefer to order their groceries online rather than risk exposure by going to the store.

However, with the growing popularity of Instacart, questions have arisen concerning the status of Instacart employees. Are they considered independent contractors, or do they fall under the category of employees?

As a professional, it is vital to examine this issue and provide unbiased information to readers. In this article, we will explore the classification of Instacart employees and provide some insights into the debate.

What is an Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is an individual who provides services to a company or a business on a contractual basis. Unlike regular employees, independent contractors do not have a formal employment relationship with the company. They are responsible for their taxes and insurance and do not receive any employment benefits such as health insurance, paid time off, or retirement plans.

Several factors determine whether a worker qualifies as an independent contractor, including the level of control the company has over the worker, the worker’s ability to perform services for other companies, and the payment method for services rendered.

Instacart employees: Independent Contractors or Employees?

Instacart has classified its delivery drivers as independent contractors. This status means that the drivers are self-employed and responsible for their taxes and insurance. While Instacart provides some compensation to drivers as per the terms of the agreement, they do not receive any employment benefits typical of employee status.

However, this classification has come under scrutiny in recent years as drivers have raised concerns about the lack of employment benefits and job security. Some have argued that Instacart drivers should be classified as employees, as the company exerts a significant level of control over the drivers` work and payment.

In 2020, California’s Assembly Bill 5, which restricts the classification of workers as independent contractors, has had an impact on the classification of Instacart workers. The bill requires companies to hire workers as employees rather than independent contractors if they control how the work is done or if the work is a central part of the company’s business.

Instacart responded to this by introducing a new policy that offered more benefits and flexibility to its drivers, but without making them employees. The policy allowed drivers to choose the time they worked, a minimum payment guarantee, and an injury protection plan.


In conclusion, the classification of Instacart drivers as independent contractors remains a controversial issue. The debate centers on the level of control the company has over the drivers and the benefits and protections they should receive. While Instacart has updated its policies to offer more benefits and flexibility to its drivers, it remains to be seen whether this will satisfy those who argue for employee classification. As a professional, it is essential to provide readers with balanced and accurate information to help them make informed decisions.