Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards announced a settlement with Postmates for not paying paid sick and leave time. Seattle had enacted a paid sick and leave time ordinance that covered gig workers including independent contractors for the pandemic.
Office of Labor Standards Reaches a Nearly One Million Dollar Settlement with Postmates for Alleged Violations of Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Impacting Over 1600 Workers
The Office of Labor Standards announces a settlement agreement for $972,075.89 with Postmates, a large food delivery network company with over 1,600 Seattle workers. Postmates settled allegations under Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance which included $949,815.49 in back wages, interest, liquidated damages, and civil penalties to 1,646 gig workers and $22,260.40 in fines to the City of Seattle.
OLS began an investigation last fall after numerous workers complained that Postmates failed to provide workers with paid sick and safe time, failed to provide workers with notice of the company’s PSST policy, and failed to provide workers with notice of their PSST balance. After OLS initiated its investigation of Postmates, Postmates was acquired by Uber Technologies, Inc. (“Uber”) in December 2020.
“For years us couriers were missing out on many benefits that we need and that we should have received from the start. Now, thanks to the hard work of people who care at OLS, we have these benefits.,” said Shawn W. Gray, Postmates driver.
Another Postmates driver, K.D., added, “Seattle’s drivers worked hard during the pandemic, and we should be entitled to sick days like any worker. It’s great to work in a city that supports its workers.”
“While these issues arose before our purchase of Postmates was finalized, we appreciate the Office of Labor Standards’ close coordination with us to correct any outstanding issues. We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that workers on the Postmates’ platform got the paid sick and safe time to which they were entitled, and we look forward to our continued partnership with OLS,” said Zahid Arab, Public Affairs Manager for Uber.
“This settlement is further proof that Seattle is leading the way on workers’ rights: workers are winning innovative, first-in-the-nation laws like sick pay for gig workers, and we’re pairing those laws with robust enforcement to ensure the rights workers win are real. Postmates is paying nearly 1 million dollars, which sends a clear message to food delivery workers across the city: you have rights, and Seattle has your back,” said Danielle Alvarado, Working Washington/Fair Work Center Legal Director.
“OLS is pleased to see Postmates’ willingness to correct noncompliance issues with Seattle’s labor standards. As more labor standards issues arise in the gig worker industry, it’s important these large companies acknowledge their mistakes and take the necessary measures to make their workers whole. Gig worker protections are vital to support workers and keep Seattle’s gig economy thriving,” said OLS Director Steven Marchese.
For more information on the Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance please visit the OLS website here.
Source: Office of Labor Standards Reaches a Nearly One Million Dollar Settlement with Postmates for Alleged Violations of Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Impacting Over 1600 Workers