For Immediate Release
Seattle Office of Labor Standards Reaches Settlement with Childcare Education Center for Alleged Violations of Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance
Seattle, WA – (August 23, 2023) The Office of Labor Standards (OLS) investigated Millennium Kids at Georgetown and its owner for alleged violations of the Seattle Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance.
Respondents settled the allegations and agreed to pay $24,785.87 to 61 affected workers, which includes $23,746.08 in civil penalties to 61 workers and $1,039.79 in back wages, interest, and liquidated damages to three workers.
OLS alleged the employers:
- Failed to maintain a PSST policy that complied with the PSST Ordinance
- Required workers to provide doctors’ notes when using sick leave for fewer than three consecutive days
- Pressured employees to work after they requested sick leave
OLS further alleged, after one worker used sick leave, the employers refused to put the workers back on the schedule for 12-14 days, in retaliation for using sick leave.
“Paid Sick and Safe Time is not just a policy; it’s a commitment to justice that underscores the value we place on the well-being of both childcare workers and the children they care for. Fortifying workers’ rights in the early learning industry is not only a matter of justice and fairness; it’s an investment in the foundation of a compassionate society and thriving economy,” said SEIU 925 Early Learning Director Patti Bailey.
The employers operate an early childhood education center in Seattle, employ fewer than 20 Seattle employees, and are associated with an early childhood education facility and educational summer camp program in Burien, Washington.
“Since the PSST Ordinance went into effect on September 1, 2012, violations of workers’ paid sick and safe time rights remain the highest among Seattle’s labor standards. PSST is one of the most essential rights for Seattle workers. Workers must have the ability to take paid time off, when necessary, especially when they are in a position of caring for others,” said OLS Director Steven Marchese. “Although we don’t often receive complaints regarding childcare centers, that doesn’t mean violations aren’t occurring. We want to raise the level of awareness of both workers and operators in the childcare community about their rights and responsibilities under Seattle’s labor standards.”
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