On June 17, 2020, delivery driver Miguel Angel Lopez, 27, died after reportedly collapsing due to heat exhaustion while working a shift as a food delivery driver in Arlington, Texas. Lopez had worked for major food delivery companies such as Postmates and Favor, and had reportedly worked a 14-hour shift that day without any breaks. His death has highlighted the danger posed to all delivery drivers in Texas by the intensely hot temperatures and health and safety regulations that do not protect the drivers from extreme heat.
The event sparked an outcry from delivery drivers across Texas who have long been concerned about the lack of heat safety regulations to protect delivery drivers of companies like Postmates and Favor from Texas’s extreme summer heat. Delivery drivers in Texas lack basic workplace protections such as regulated break times and air-conditioned vehicles for their job.
Since Lopez’s death, delivery drivers have organized protests and planned legal action against Postmates and Favor, which are accused of not taking adequate measures to protect workers from heat stress while working in temperatures that can exceed 90-100°F. Postmates has since promised to issue cooling kits to its drivers to help mitigate the risk of heat exhaustion, while Favor has said it will roll out a similar program. However, activists argue that these initiatives are still not enough, and want companies to take full responsibility for workers’ safety and health in hot climates.