For Immediate Release
Seattle Office of Labor Standards Reaches Approximately $750,000 Dollar Settlement with Gopuff
Seattle, WA – (December 12, 2022) – The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) investigated Gopuff, a large digital delivery service, for alleged violations under the Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. The company agreed to pay a total financial remedy of $735,239.37 to 189 drivers and $23,021.24 to the City of Seattle.
OLS alleged that for almost two years the company:
- failed to provide delivery workers with paid sick and safe time (PSST) as required by the ordinance;
- failed to provide workers notice of their PSST balance;
- failed to provide workers with a notice of rights; and
- failed to provide workers with the company’s PSST policy.
“Most drivers would rather work sick then have financial hardship. We should be able to care for ourselves and help stop the spread of illness. Corporations are not known for empathy; we are just another cost that needs to be reduced. It must be up to workers to change laws and humanize the workforce. Health is important every day not just during a pandemic,” said Joseph Garcia, Gopuff Driver.
“OLS was able to help people like me to have the power of the voice and action (enforcement of penalty) to protect the right of workers who put in the hard effort during the national pandemic,” said Wei Lin, Gopuff Driver. “Without OLS’ knowledge and public announcements, we would have never known that we been working and risking our health while Gopuff was withholding our benefits such as access to or knowing we had PSST.”
OLS has resolved four matters with Gopuff including the current settlement. The other three involved the Gig Worker Premium Pay Ordinance and impacted a total of 73 workers and assessed $111,954.50 in remedies.
“Early on in the pandemic, our team worked hard to quickly implement a new sick leave program that provided paid leave for delivery partners diagnosed with COVID-19 or under quarantine. We are grateful to the Seattle Office of Labor Standards for bringing this issue to our attention and we took immediate steps to investigate, adjust our program, and quickly made retroactive corrections. We continue to invest in the delivery partner experience and maintain our commitment to the health and safety of all delivery partners as well as to compliance in Seattle,” said a Gopuff Spokesperson.
“By enforcing this temporary law, gig workers were given back their basic rights in a workplace. Although the Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance was suspended to align with the end of the City’s Civil Emergency Proclamation after October 31, 2022, and with the end of the statewide state of emergency, certain requirements of this law will still apply moving forward. It’s important gig workers in Seattle know their rights,” said Steven Marchese, OLS Director.
As of November 1, 2022, the following requirements under the Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance still apply:
- Accrual: Gig workers are entitled to accrue paid sick and paid safe time until April 30, 2023.
- Use: Gig workers are entitled to use accrued paid sick and paid safe time until April 30, 2023.
- Notice of Rights: Covered hiring entities must provide a Notice of Rights for a period of three years through October 31, 2025.
- Enforcement: Gig workers with complaints that a hiring entity did not meet the requirements of this ordinance between July 13, 2020, and April 30, 2023, can still contact the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) with their complaints for three years (through October 31, 2025). Please do not delay contacting the office to ensure you may exercise your rights under this ordinance. You can contact OLS by calling (206) 256-5297 or contact us online by filling out this form (click here).
For more information on the Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance please visit the OLS website here.