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Instacart to pay $750K for violating Seattle sick pay ordinance

A total of 5,567 workers will receive compensation as part of the settlement

Last-mile delivery service Instacart has agreed to pay nearly $750,000 to settle claims that it violated the city of Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time ordinance.

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards said this week that it investigated the alleged violations from July 13, 2020, to March 6, 2024.

Instacart will pay $730,041 to 5,567 workers who were impacted and $18,685 in fines to the city of Seattle, the office said in a press release. 

“Regardless of work environment, all workers, including gig and app-based workers, many of whom are immigrants and people of color, deserve protections against subminimum pay and access to PSST,” said Office of Labor Standards Director Steven Marchese in a statement. 

“The pandemic-era Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, along with its permanent successor, was created to provide fundamental fairness in the workplace and strengthen Seattle’s economy. Quite simply, when workers are ill or need to take care of loved ones, as a city, we want them to be able to do so without fear of financial loss or repercussions,” Marchese added. 

Instacart said in an email that it worked to comply with the ordinance.

“The Seattle Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) ordinance was introduced as Instacart and other app-based companies were rapidly responding to the pandemic in 2020, and expired last year," the company said. "Despite the complicated nature of the ordinance, Instacart worked diligently to comply and paid out millions of dollars to eligible shoppers. We will continue to comply with all regulations, including the now-permanent PSST ordinance, as we provide a positive experience for shoppers on our platform.”

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