Last-mile delivery giant DoorDash has agreed to a $1.6 million settlement with workers and the city of Seattle to address alleged violations of the city’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (PSST). This settlement follows an investigation by the Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS), which revealed that DoorDash had not established a suitable system for workers to request and use paid sick and safe time leave, compensate them for such leave, or provide regular updates on their sick time balance.
The investigation stemmed from numerous complaints filed by DoorDash employees, prompting the OLS to take action. This marks the second time the OLS has scrutinized DoorDash’s compliance with the ordinance. In 2021, a settlement was reached for similar violations, leading DoorDash to pay $15,504 to 10 workers and $144,931 to 891 workers as compensation for unused accrued PSST days.
As part of the new settlement, DoorDash will allocate $1.12 million in PSST credits to approximately 26,500 of its employees, along with $500,064 in cash to 648 workers. Additionally, the company will pay $8,629 in fines to the city of Seattle for its non-compliance.
Tessa C., a DoorDash worker, expressed gratitude for the settlement, stating, “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.” Tessa also acknowledged the importance of gig worker protections and the ability to take a sick day when needed.
OLS Director Steven Marchese emphasized that Seattle had been a pioneer in championing gig worker rights, particularly during the challenging pandemic period. “OLS will continue to enforce gig worker protections and all Seattle labor standards while providing support to businesses to ensure compliance,” Marchese stated.
This settlement serves as a reminder that the rights and protections of gig workers are gaining increasing attention from regulatory bodies, signaling a broader trend towards ensuring fair treatment and adequate benefits for those contributing to the gig economy.