Seattle reaches $1.6 million settlement with DoorDash over alleged labor violations
(The Center Square) – The Seattle Office of Labor Standards has announced it has reached a $1.6 million settlement with app-based company DoorDash for alleged violations of Seattle’s labor standards.
The Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time ordinance, or PSST, went into effect on July 13, 2020 as a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seattle City Council made the change permanent on March 28, as previously reported by The Center Square.
This is not the first time the online food ordering and delivery company has run afoul of the Seattle law.
In 2021, following an investigation into inaccurate payouts of PSST time, DoorDash paid out nearly $145,000 to 891 workers.
After receiving multiple worker complaints in 2022, the Seattle Office of Labor Standards opened an investigation alleging DoorDash failed to:
Establish an accessible PSST system for some gig workers to request and use PSST;Timely compensate some gig workers for use of PSST; andProvide a monthly notice of PSST balance information to all of its Seattle workforce over a period of two months.
"Seattle has led the way in providing gig workers protections during the most crucial times of the pandemic when workers put their health and the health of their loved ones at possible risk," said Office of Labor Standards Director Steven Marchese in a Monday news release announcing the settlement. " "OLS will continue to enforce gig worker protections and all Seattle labor standards while providing support to businesses to ensure compliance."
One DoorDash worker, identified as Tessa C. in the news release, said she was thankful for the enforcement of the PSST law she sees as a safety net.
“Us gig workers have been met with conditions during the pandemic that were often risky. Having someone to advocate for gig workers lets us know that we have support and a way to have a voice. I am very grateful for this timely and judicious settlement. Thank you, Seattle City Council, for legislating PSST – for when we need a sick day,” she said.
Shortly after publication of this article, a spokesperson for DoorDash reached out with a statement.
"Since this policy was enacted, which was originally on a temporary basis, we have worked diligently to meet these new requirements and have ensured that eligible Seattle Dashers have been paid out for their time. Now that the ordinance is permanent, we are ensuring that Dashers are properly notified of all accrued time and are proactively reaching out to provide them with more information about this policy,” the statement read in part.
It also noted that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with changing laws in multiple jurisdictions, and limited resources, the company "fell short on certain aspects of implementation under the city’s policy."