Gig drivers are essential workers, bringing us the food and goods we’ve needed for the last six months and providing rideshare services during the pandemic. Gig drivers in Seattle recently won first-in-the-nation hazard pay and sick leave ordinances.
Food delivery gig drivers are entitled to $2.50 in hazard pay for each restaurant or grocery delivery made inside the Seattle city limits. Hazard pay must be listed separately on the driver’s pay report, and paid out on top of what they would otherwise be paid. The hazard pay requirement took effect on Friday July 26th at 8:30pm, and continues for as long as the city’s official coronavirus state of emergency is in effect.
The City of Seattle (City) intends to make it clear that gig workers working for food delivery network companies have a right to receive premium pay for work performed during the COVID-19 emergency.– Council Bill 119799
Read the full text of the Premium Pay for Gig Workers Ordinance for all of the details.
Paid Sick Days
Gig delivery drivers and Uber/Lyft drivers now have the right to take paid sick days. Drivers start off with a certain number of paid sick days based on how much they’ve worked back to October of 2019, and they will continue to accrue paid sick days going forward at a rate of 1 day for every 30 days you work. When a driver takes a paid sick day, they’ll get paid based on their average daily compensation, including tips. No doctor’s note or other documentation is required to take a sick day during the coronavirus pandemic.
The sick days law took effect on Monday, July 13th, 2020. They will continue while the state of emergency remains in place.
The definitions of “employee” and “employer” in local, state and federal law are broad, but food delivery network companies and transportation network companies rely on business models that treat gig workers as “independent contractors,” thereby creating barriers for gig workers to access paid sick and paid safe time and other employee protections.– Council Bill 119793
Read the full text of the Paid Sick and Safe Time for Gig Workers Ordinance for all of the details.
Who is Covered
The ordinance extends labor protections to gig drivers who typically don’t qualify for traditional benefits because they are currently classified as independent contractors.
The hazard pay ordinance applies to covered grocery and food delivery platforms operating in Seattle, including Instacart, Shipt, TaskRabbit, and Amazon Fresh. Covered restaurant delivery platforms include DoorDash, Uber Eats, Postmates, Caviar, and GrubHub. Sick pay applies to both grocery/food delivery drivers and rideshare drivers, such as Uber and Lyft.
Hazard pay and sick pay are temporary benefits that will continue as long as Seattle remains under a coronavirus state of emergency.
The City of Seattle Office of Labor Standards page on COVID-19 Gig Worker Protections has detailed information on both the Paid Sick and Safe Time for Gig Workers Ordinance and the Gig Worker Premium Pay Ordinance.
Help Fair Work Center Enforce the Laws
Like all Seattle labor standards, these laws apply to work done within Seattle city limits. Help Fair Work Center enforce the law — use their hazard pay tracker to let them know what you’re seeing, app by app and job by job.