Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

Gig Worker PSST Q&A

Covid - 19 Gig Worker PSST Ordinance Fact Sheet

Update: The Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance temporarily provided paid sick leave for gig workers during the Covid-19 emergency. The temporary law went into effect on July 13, 2020 and allowed certain gig workers access to paid sick and paid safe time (PSST) from transportation network companies* (such as Uber, Lyft) and food delivery network companies (FDNCs) that arrange for delivery of groceries or prepared food using an app-based or online platform. Certain requirements of this law are suspended effective November 1, 2022. These changes align with Mayor Bruce Harrell’s announcement to end the Civil Emergency Proclamation after October 31, 2022 and with Washington State’s and Governor Inslee’s decision to end the statewide state of emergency

As of November 1, 2022, the following requirements apply:

  • Accrual: Gig workers are entitled to accrue paid sick and paid safe time until April 30, 2023.
  • Use: Gig workers are entitled to use accrued paid sick and paid safe time until April 30, 2023.
  • Notice of Rights: covered hiring entities must provide a Notice of Rights for a period of three years through October 31, 2025.
  • Enforcement: Gig workers with complaints that a hiring entity did not meet the requirements of this ordinance between July 13, 2020 and April 30, 2023 can still contact the Office of Labor Standards (OLS) with their complaints for three years (through October 31, 2025). Please do not delay contacting the office to ensure you may exercise your rights under this ordinance. You can contact OLS by calling (206) 256-5297 or contact us online by filling out this form (click here).

*Note regarding transportation network companies (TNCs)

Beginning on January 1, 2023 the GW PSST ordinance will no longer apply to transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft due to Washington State House Bill 2076, which establishes new statewide requirements concerning TNCs. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) is responsible for enforcing these new requirements. Many of the statewide TNC driver protections take effect January 1, 2023. For more information, go to L&I’s TNC Drivers’ Rights page.

About this law: This temporary law allowed gig workers payment for PSST based on the worker's "average daily compensation" for each day worked for the hiring entity during the highest earning calendar month since October 1, 2019 or since the commencement of work for the company, whichever date is latest. Average daily compensation would be recalculated every month to reflect changes in gig worker's earnings.   

Other details of the law include, but are not limited to:

Accrual: Starting October 1, 2019, gig workers earned one day of PSST for every 30 calendar days worked in whole or in part in Seattle. Covered entities have the option to calculate retroactively accrued PSST (October 1, 2019 to April 30, 2023) by this standard accrual or by substituting for 5 days of PSST.

Use: Workers who work in Seattle at least once in the past 90 calendar days may use PSST in 24-hour increments for any reason covered by the ordinance, including but not limited to:

  • To care for themselves or a family member for a physical or mental health condition, including a doctor's appointment.
  • To care for themselves, a family member, or a household member for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • When their family member's school or place of care has been closed.
  • If the company reduces, suspends, or discontinues operations for health or safety related reasons.

Rate of pay: For each 24-hour day of use, a gig worker is entitled to the average daily compensation in their highest earning calendar month since October 2019. Average daily compensation includes tips.  

Verification: A covered entity may request reasonable verification from the worker for uses more than 3 consecutive days. Healthcare provider documentation shall not be reasonable during a civil emergency.     

Notice:  In addition to a written PSST policy and procedure, hiring entities must provide no less than monthly notification of the gig worker's average daily compensation, and accrued, used, and available PSST.  

Duration: The requirement to provide paid sick and safe time will end on April 30, 2023 (180 days after the termination of the Mayor's civil emergency or the termination of any concurrent civil emergency due to COVID-19). The remaining requirements will stay in effect for three years through October 31, 2025 to retain provisions necessary for recordkeeping and enforcement.  The duration aligns with Mayor Bruce Harrell’s announcement to end the Civil Emergency Proclamation after October 31, 2022 and with Washington State’s and Governor Inslee’s decision to end the statewide state of emergency.

OLS is responsible for the enforcement of the ordinance. Aggrieved parties also would have a private right of action. A question and answer document for the ordinance is available.

Translations: COVID-19 Gig Worker Ordinance Paid Sick and Safe Time Fact Sheets are available in Amharic, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Hindi, Oromo, Somali and Spanish on the OLS Languages webpage. Recorded versions of the translations provided by the Department of Neighborhoods Community Liaisons available on the OLS YouTube channel here.

Note: Covered companies were to file their chosen accrual method with the Office of Labor Standards by July 27, 2020. Companies that still need to file their chosen accrual method should reach out to the department by email or phone to request the appropriate form.