Uber Settles With Seattle for $3.4 Million Over Sick Leave

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

June 28, 2021

The ride-hailing company Uber has agreed to pay Seattle's labor agency $3.4 million to settle claims that it violated a city ordinance providing paid sick and safe time for gig workers.

The settlement is the largest in the history of Seattle's Office of Labor Standards (OLS), which enforces a wide variety of employment ordinances covering everything from the minimum wage to scheduling to wage theft to hazard pay for grocery workers.

Employee advocates hailed the settlement as a victory for labor - and an inspiration for organizers in other cities across the nation pushing for similar measures.

"First paid sick days law, highest minimum wage, historic deactivation protections, a driver support center - each of these labor victories on their own have set new national gold standards," said John Scearcy, secretary-treasurer of the local Teamsters chapter. "Taken together, all of these victories combined undeniably put Seattle at the center of progress for labor's strategy to raise standards for gig workers."

Seattle's Paid Sick and Safe Time for Gig Workers Ordinance temporarily provides paid sick and safe time for gig workers during the COVID-19 emergency.

According to the OLS, Uber conducted several audits and discovered that, largely due to technical software glitches, some of its workers were not able to access leave to which they were entitled. Uber voluntarily corrected these issues.