DoorDash and Postmates agree to pay workers over $360K for violating Seattle hazard pay law


Seattle is making the gig economy pay up — this time, to the tune of $361,950. That’s how much DoorDash and Postmates agreed to pay workers for violations of Seattle’s first-in-the-nation hazard pay law, which requires large food and grocery delivery companies to pay workers an additional $2.50/delivery during the coronavirus emergency.

Gig companies like DoorDash and Postmates like to think they’re above the law, but the Seattle Office of Labor Standards just took action to hold them accountable. Workers filed complaints with OLS after noticing they weren’t seeing hazard pay correctly added to all their deliveries on the DoorDash and Postmates apps, which prompted an audit. OLS reached an agreement with the companies, compelling them to make workers whole by promptly providing back pay and interest.

Earlier this summer, gig workers in Seattle came together to win the right to hazard pay — and now, workers are standing up to make sure that this right is enforced.

Thousands of impacted drivers in Seattle received money they were owed as a result of this enforcement action. It’s the first-ever government labor standards enforcement action that actually moves money from gig company corporate bank accounts into gig workers’ pockets.

In addition to this $361,950 award, thousands of workers have been receiving their additional $2.50 in hazard pay for every delivery in Seattle since late June on DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Instacart, Shipt, and other food delivery platforms. Hazard pay for these essential workers will remain in effect for the length of the coronavirus pandemic.

Learn more about Seattle gig workers’ rights to hazard pay and sick leave here, and if you’re doing gig delivery work, let us know what you’re seeing, delivery-by-delivery, with our hazard pay tracker. Together, we can continue to hold gig companies accountable, protect our rights, and make sure gig workers get paid what they’re owed.

Wildfire smoke & your right to paid sick days // El humo de los incendios forestales y los días pagados de enfermedad

Esta noticia se puede leer en español abajo.

Attention Washington workers: you have the right to take paid sick time to protect your health from the wildfire smoke currently choking our state. 

Wildfire smoke is unhealthy for everyone, and you do not have to provide details as to why you are taking a sick day. For example, you can simply say you are taking a sick day because you have a cough, a headache, or another health symptom associated with exposure to smoke. As always, you also have the right to take a sick day if you have a sick family member, and during the COVID emergency you can also use sick days if a child’s school or place of care has been closed for any health-related reason by order of a public official.

The company you work for cannot legally ask for a doctor’s note or other documentation unless you take more than three consecutive sick days, and they cannot retaliate against you for using sick time you have accrued.

If you do gig delivery work in Seattle, you ALSO have access to paid sick days, and you can also take a sick day due to smoke. More info on gig workers’ right to sick days here.


Atención trabajadores en Washington: tienen el derecho de tomar tiempo pagado de enfermedad para proteger su salud del humo de los incendios forestales, que actualmente está amenazando a todos partes de nuestro estado. 

El humo de los incendios forestales es peligroso para todo el mundo, y no hay que dar detalles a su empleador cuando usted tome un día de enfermedad. Por ejemplo, es suficiente decir a su empleador que usted está tomando un día de enfermedad porque tiene tos, jaqueca, u otro síntoma relacionado con exposición al humo. Como siempre, también se puede usar los días de enfermedad para cuidar a un familiar que está enfermo, y durante la emergencia de COVID se puede usar los días de enfermedad para cuidar a los niños si se cierra la escuela o guardería por orden de una autoridad sanitaria. 

La compañía para la que usted trabaja no está permitido pedirle una nota de un médico u otra forma de documentación hasta que usted tome 3 días de enfermedad pagado consecutivamente, y no pueden poner represalias contra usted por usar sus días de enfermedad. 

Si usted trabaja como trabajador de entregas independiente, también tiene el derecho de tomar los días pagados de enfermedad, y también puede tomar un día de enfermedad debido al humo. Más información aquí sobre su derecho de tomar horas pagadas de enfermedad.

Gig workers in Seattle win new protections

Gig workers are essential workers, bringing us the food and goods we’ve needed for the last six months. Workers with the PayUp campaign have been relentlessly speaking out about the need for essential protections, during the crisis and in the long run. And it’s working: gig workers in Seattle recently won first-in-the-nation hazard pay and sick leave ordinances.

Hazard Pay

Food gig delivery drivers are entitled to $2.50 in hazard pay for each restaurant or grocery delivery you make inside the Seattle city limits. Hazard pay must be listed separately on your pay report, and paid out on top of what you would otherwise be paid. The hazard pay requirement took effect on Friday July 26th at 8:30pm, and continues for as long as the city’s official coronavirus state of emergency is in effect.

Paid Sick Days

Gig delivery workers and Uber/Lyft drivers now have the right to take paid sick days. You’ll start off with a certain number of paid sick days based on how much you’ve worked back to October of last year, and you’ll continue to accrue paid sick days going forward at a rate of 1 day for every 30 days you work. When you take a paid sick day, you’ll get paid based on your average daily compensation, including tips. No doctor’s note or other documentation is required to take a sick day during the coronavirus pandemic. The sick days law took effect on Monday, July 13th.

Like all Seattle labor standards, these laws apply to work done within Seattle city limits. Help us enforce the law — use our hazard pay tracker to let us know what you’re seeing, app by app and job by job.

Fair Work Center launches Know Your Rights training series for airport workers

Do you work at SEA Airport? SeaTac Proposition 1 protects the rights of workers at most large airport, transportation, and hospitality businesses in SeaTac. Under Prop. 1 you have the right to:

  • The second-highest minimum wage in the country: $16.34 in 2020
  • Keep all the tips and service charges you earn 
  • Find out first about additional hours, before new part-time workers are hired
  • Paid sick and safe time 
  • Also, under state law you have the right to paid family leave & meal and rest breaks for every shift you work. 

Alongside Partner in Employment, Fair Work Center has launched a series of Know Your Rights trainings for airport workers. These workers are facing layoffs, reduced hours, and an unpredictable future as a result of the pandemic crisis — which is why it’s more important than ever to enforce Prop. 1 labor standards. We are offering these trainings in English and in Somali to reach African immigrant workers, while PIE is providing these trainings in French, Swahili and Spanish. We will make sure to provide trainings in other languages as needed.

For more information and to sign up for this free training series, visit our SEA Airport Workers page.

Unprecedented challenges, powerful victories



This year has laid bare the stark inequalities in our society. Six months into the pandemic crisis, workers face unprecedented challenges: many workers are taking on additional risk at work, and employers are often failing to enact appropriate safety measures. The Senate has so far failed to provide adequate relief money, choosing to make it harder for us to pay our bills and survive this crisis. Hundreds of thousands of Washington workers are still unemployed and navigating a system full of delays and missing benefits payments. Meanwhile, wage theft and other workplace violations are spiking — and those violations are disproportionately impacting workers of color. 


Yet, in the face of these historic challenges, workers are coming together in powerful ways. A coalition of undocumented immigrants and community organizations just won a relief fund for undocumented immigrants. Gig workers in Seattle recently won sick leave and hazard pay ordinances, building momentum in the fight for a permanent pay standard. And Fair Work Center is still providing legal services and offering Know Your Rights workshops, which have shifted to virtual online events in order to reach workers remotely.


With Labor Day this week, we celebrate the powerful victories achieved when workers come together. Click on the stories below to learn more about how Fair Work Center is supporting worker organizing during these challenging times:

Washington State creates a relief fund for undocumented immigrant workers

Fair Work Center launches Know Your Rights training series for airport workers 

Gig workers in Seattle win new protections