Seattle City Council has passed legislation requiring app-based delivery companies, including DoorDash, Uber Eats and Instacart, to offer paid sick time off to gig workers. This new law will be called the “App-Based Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance” and will provide gig workers with one day of paid sick time for every 30 days with at least one work-related stop in Seattle. The law also requires companies to pay “safe time” if services are suspended for health or safety reasons or for family-related situations, and offers protection for domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Seattle is the first US city to make these rights permanent for gig workers. Gig workers have been a contentious issue in the US, with Proposition 22, a law passed in California in 2020, letting companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash classify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, leading to a legal challenge by unions and drivers. While the US Department of Labor is in the process of deciding whether gig workers should be classified as employees, individual states and cities will continue to regulate the treatment of gig workers piecemeal.