But Bain, then a 30-year-old mother, was quickly won over with meaningful work and a sense of respect. And her take-home pay rose roughly 65 percent compared to teaching and tutoring combined. At the end of a day working for Instacart, Bain had more energy, which made her a better mom. When a friend who drove for Lyft complained about pay cuts, Bain urged her to switch to Instacart.
That changed just a few months later, after Instacart in 2016 began a pattern of experimenting with worker pay in ways that made earnings more precarious. That included using tips to supplement wages, a practice the company stopped in February after public outcry.