Seattle Office of Labor Standards 2022 Year in Review

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As we head into 2023 with a renewed sense of purpose, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the hard work and dedication of our staff at the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) and our Community and Business Outreach and Education Fund (COEF and BOEF) partners, as well as support from the Seattle community, which make it possible for OLS to stay true to its mission: to advance labor standards through thoughtful community and business engagement, strategic enforcement and innovative policy development, with a commitment to race and social justice.

2022 was another year of transition as we moved closer to what life will be like as the Covid-19 pandemic begins to abate. Despite much uncertainty, I am proud of how the OLS team faced challenges and turned them into opportunities.

Here’s a look at some of our office’s accomplishments.

Enforcement Team 
The OLS Enforcement Team had an incredible year:

  • 26,583 Seattle workers received over $7 million dollars in back wages.  
  • Top ordinances with financial remedies: 
    • Gig Workers Premium Pay - $3,534,674 
    • Gig Worker Paid Sick & Safe Time - $1,196,258 
    • Wage Theft - $1,216,212 
    • Other ordinances - $1,753,634 
  • 2022 had record-setting settlements, including one of the highest resolved investigations was a settlement with Uber Eats for $3,333,088.30 affecting 10,467 gig workers.  All press releases can be found on the OLS website here. 
OLS 2022 Year in Review

Please click on the image or here to download the infographic.

Outreach Team
Our Outreach Team made tremendous strides within our Seattle communities:

Business Outreach and Education Fund (BOEF): 

  • BOEF partners reached out to 5,514 businesses and provided 133 educational trainings.

Community Outreach and Education Fund (COEF): 

  • COEF organizations conducted 1,492 outreach activities and 774 worker intakes. 
  • 481 Domestic Workers Ordinance outreach activities were conducted in collaboration with COEF partner Hand in Hand. 

Transportation Network Companies (TNC) Drivers Resolution Center (DRC): 

  • Through a first-of-its-kind Driver Resolution Center (DRC) partnership with Drivers Union, OLS oversaw outreach with the DRC that made 37,412 contacts with drivers to provide education and resources, and assisted 386 drivers to get reactivated.

Policy Team
Our Policy Team forged ahead with the implementation of new ordinances:

  • The team published administrative rules, model notices and Q&As for the Independent Contractor Protections (ICP) Ordinance ahead of the September 1, 2022 effective date following robust stakeholder engagement process.  
  • The team worked closely with domestic worker and hiring entity advocates to begin the process of developing a portable benefits proposal based on sound research and robust community engagement.
  • Provided policy and technical advice to Mayor’s Office and City Council regarding the App-Based Workers Minimum Payment Ordinance (Pay-Up) that will set permanent minimum compensation standards for non-Transportation Network Company (TNC) gig workers for the first time.
  • Supported the policy development process for the Cannabis Employee Job Retention Ordinance which City Council passed in September 2022 and goes into effect on July 19, 2023.
  • The Policy Team supported and coordinated the wind-down activities for TNC labor standards policies as enforcement in this area has moved to the Washington Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) (as of 1/1/2023), and provided policy, technical, and strategic guidance to L&I to support this transition.  

OLS announced the 10th anniversary of Seattle’s PSST Ordinance. Since it became effective on September 1, 2012, including the early work of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, OLS has resolved 351 PSST cases impacting an estimated 6,124 workers and resulting in remedy assessments totaling $2,551,220.  

All of these accomplishments were made possible through collaborations and with the common goal to protect workers’ rights in Seattle, while also supporting our city’s businesses to comply with our ordinances. Lastly, we brought on several new hires, including new leadership for our Outreach and Policy teams. I’m excited to see our office continue to grow into the new year and have the opportunity to provide additional service to the community. 

Thank you for our partnership. We look forward to more success in 2023. 

In Solidarity,

Steven Marchese
Director, Seattle Office of Labor Standards