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The initial requirements for food delivery and transportation app-based companies were passed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

DoorDash to pay out $1.6M to workers in Seattle

Investigation found the company violated sick time policy

DoorDash is set to pay out $1.6 million to workers after an investigation found the food delivery platform failed to implement Seattle’s required sick and safe time policy, reports the Associated Press

This was the second time the San Francisco-based company violated the requirements, according to the city’s Office of Labor Standards, which went into effect on July 13, 2020, and “allowed certain gig workers access to paid sick and paid safe time from transportation network companies and food delivery network companies that arrange for delivery of groceries or prepared food using an app-based or online platform.”

After the city opened the investigation into the complaints, DoorDash agreed to pay over $1.6 million in a settlement with the city and workers. Of that total, $500,000 will go to 648 workers and $1.1 million will go to safe and sick time credits for over 26,000 workers. The company will also pay about $8,600 in fines to the city, reports The Seattle Times.

DoorDash has attributed the delays in compensation to the lengthy time it takes to implement new policies mandated by the pay model changes. DoorDash said it worked with limited resources to comply with Seattle’s new policy, however, fell short on certain aspects during the midst of constantly changing policies and relief efforts. 

“In the midst of the pandemic, as local emergency ordinances and DoorDash’s response efforts were developing rapidly, Seattle implemented Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) for app-based workers. Since this policy was enacted, which was originally on a temporary basis, we have worked diligently to meet these new requirements and have ensured that eligible Seattle Dashers have been paid out for their time,” a DoorDash spokesperson told SN. “Now that the ordinance is permanent, we are ensuring that Dashers are properly notified of all accrued time and are proactively reaching out to provide them with more information about this policy.”

The initial requirements for food delivery and transportation app-based companies were passed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the city of Seattle made the first-in-the-nation law permanent in March. 

The law was made as part of an effort to strengthen labor rights for “on-demand” or gig workers on such apps. Multiple DoorDash drivers told Seattle’s labor office that the company failed to establish a system for workers to:

  • Request and use paid time
  • Provide timely compensation to some workers for use of the time
  • Provide workers with monthly notice of their balances

The payments made as a result of this settlement are not backpay, and all eligible DoorDash employees who qualified for PSST benefits have already received those benefits. The new payments being made are on top of their already-received PSST benefits to make up for a small number of missed notifications to employees about the time they had accrued and their eligibility for PSST benefits.


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