Paid sick, safe time now permanent for Seattle app-based workers

May 1, 2023, 11:10 AM | Updated: 11:20 am

paid sick and safe time...

(Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

(Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Seattle became the first city in the nation to implement permanent paid sick and safe time benefits for app-based gig workers.

The city council, anchored by Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda and Mayor Bruce Harrell, passed Council Bill 120514 by a unanimous 9-0 vote at the end of March.

DoorDash to pay out $15,000 to settle claim it violated Seattle sick-pay laws

Seattle originally passed a temporary law in 2020 to grant sick and safe time to app-based workers, but the temporary benefits were set to expire in April with the conclusion of the city’s pandemic-based emergency order.

We want to ensure everyone has the time to get well, recover, and help members of their family when they’re ill – whether you deliver dinner, drop off laundry, or provide any service on these apps,” Mosqueda said. “Workers shouldn’t have to choose between staying home to care for themselves or their loved ones and losing a day’s income. Now if you feel sick, you can stay home and recover knowing you will still have your day’s wages to put food on the table or pay the mortgage.

“Paid sick and safe leave isn’t just the right thing to do for individuals, it’s also vitally important to protect public health,” Mosqueda continued. “During the last three years of the pandemic, we’ve learned that a strong sick leave policy is vital for a healthy community and a healthy economy.

The bill applies to companies with at least 250 app-based employees.

With the passing of this law, workers will accrue one day of sick leave for every 30 days worked, as long as part of their work in the given month occurs within Seattle.

A healthy workforce leads to a healthy community, and no one should have to choose between taking a sick day to care for themselves – or their families – and making rent,” Harrell said. “Gig workers stepped up to serve our city during the pandemic and are an essential part of our workforce and economy, and this important legislation ensures the rights of our app-based workers remain protected.”

Seattle continues to lead the way for rights in the workplace among app-based employees. Last year, the city passed a first-of-its-kind legislation, coined PayUp, that guarantees app-based delivery drivers a minimum wage while protecting employment flexibility.

Seattle greenlights minimum wages for app-based delivery drivers

The law goes into effect May 1 for food delivery companies. Paid sick and safe time benefits will be available to the other app-based workers covered in the legislation on Jan. 13, 2024. 

“Gig workers in Seattle are facing serious trouble, and permanent paid sick and safe time would help us gig workers have some reliability to deal with the things that might come up in our lives,” said Wei Lin, a gig worker for Gopuff and member of the PayUp campaign, during the city council meeting. “I appreciate what the Seattle City Council has done to address this issue so that I can be there for the people I care about.”

MyNorthwest News

Auburn shooting...

Bill Kaczaraba

Auburn late-night shooting leaves one teenage boy dead

The Auburn community was shaken by a deadly shooting late Friday night. Police received reports of gunfire in the 500 Block of A Street SE.

16 minutes ago

Photo: KIRO Newsradio is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its "newsradio" format with a special ...

MyNorthwest Staff

KIRO celebrates 50th anniversary of ‘newsradio’ format with special alumni broadcast

KIRO Newsradio is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its "newsradio" format with a special broadcast featuring several prominent alumni.

2 hours ago

Photo: Police swarm Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood after shooting on July 3....

James Lynch

Police identify 2 girls who were with alleged Alderwood Mall shooter

There are new developments in last week's deadly shooting at Alderwood Mall. Jayda Woods-Johnson, 13, was killed.

2 hours ago

Renton bus crash...

Shawn Garrett, KIRO 7 News

Eight injured after bus crashes into Renton ravine

A bus driver suffered a medical emergency, crashing the bus into a ravine in Renton, injuring eight people on board.

8 hours ago

Photo: Police say a man reached for his chicken sandwich, flipping his car....

Bill Kaczaraba

Oops! Chicken sandwich causes car to flip in Vancouver, WA

It turned out to be a very bad day for a man who dropped his chicken sandwich in his car. He flipped his vehicle reaching for it.

9 hours ago

Actor Alec Baldwin reacts during his trial for involuntary manslaughter for the 2021 fatal shooting...

Associated Press

Case dismissed against Alec Baldwin in fatal shooting of cinematographer

A nearly three-year legal saga for Alec Baldwin in the fatal shooting of a cinematographer ended Friday with the actor cleared of wrongdoing.

9 hours ago

Paid sick, safe time now permanent for Seattle app-based workers