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DoorDash to pay $1.6M to its workers for violating Seattle sick time policy

By Associated Press
Published: August 25, 2023, 1:40pm

SEATTLE — DoorDash will pay $1.6 million to its workers after a Seattle investigation found the company failed to implement the city’s required sick and safe time policy.

The city’s Office of Labor Standards said this week that the San Francisco-based delivery company, which contracts workers to make food deliveries, violated city requirements for the second time, The Seattle Times reported.

The city initially passed the requirements for food delivery and transportation app-based companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seattle made the first-in-the-nation law permanent in March as part of an effort to strengthen labor rights for “on-demand” gig workers on apps such as DoorDash, Postmates and Instacart.

Multiple DoorDash workers told Seattle’s labor office that the company failed to establish a system for workers to request and use paid time, to provide timely compensation to some workers for use of the time, and to provide workers with monthly notice of their balances.

After the city opened an investigation, DoorDash agreed in a settlement to pay $1.1 million toward safe and sick time credits for over 26,000 workers, $500,000 to 648 workers and more than $8,500 in fines to the city.

A DoorDash spokesperson told the newspaper that since the temporary policy was enacted, the company has worked diligently to meet the new requirements and has “ensured that eligible Seattle Dashers have been paid out for their time.”

Now that the ordinance is permanent, the spokesperson said the company is ensuring that workers are properly notified of all accrued time and are proactively reaching out to provide them with more information about the policy.

In 2021, the same city office investigated claims that DoorDash failed to credit workers with the days from a previous owner and failed to provide accurate notice of the average daily compensation rate, resulting in about $145,000 paid to almost 900 workers.

“Seattle has led the way in providing gig worker protections during the most crucial times of the pandemic when workers put their health and the health of their loved ones at possible risk,” Steven Marchese, director of the Office of Labor Standards, said in a statement. “OLS will continue to enforce gig worker protections and all Seattle labor standards while providing support to businesses to ensure compliance.”

In 2022, more than 6 million DoorDash drivers — all independent contractors — fulfilled 1.7 billion orders worldwide.

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