July - September 2021

OLS investigated Catalysis LLC and Catalysis Holding Corporation - companies that perform marketing, software, and data analysis consulting - for alleged violations of the Fair Chance Employment (FCE) Ordinance. The companies' only office is in Seattle, and they employ approximately 45 people. OLS investigated allegations the employers failed to 1) provide a job applicant with a reasonable opportunity to explain or correct criminal background check information upon which the companies relied to rescind the applicant's job offer, and 2) to hold the position open for two business days after notifying the applicant of their intent to rescind the job offer. The companies agreed to pay the job applicant a penalty of $556.30.

Susan's Green Cleaning, a house cleaning company with approximately 25 employees in Seattle, settled allegations under the Minimum Wage, PSST, and Wage Theft Ordinances. OLS alleged the company failed to pay the Seattle Minimum Wage for some employees; made unauthorized deductions from employees' pay to cover training costs and costs for broken or lost equipment; did not provide paid rest breaks or consistent meal breaks; failed to pay some employees for all hours worked; failed to provide employees with the company's tip policy; had a sick leave policy that violated a number of provisions of the PSST Ordinance including carry-over requirements; failed to track and maintain records concerning basic PSST information; failed to provide employees with required notice of their PSST balances; and retaliated against employees for taking PSST by deducting $2.00 per hour for the pay period in which PSST was taken. The total financial remedy was $291,306.54 to 98 affected workers and $667.56 to the City of Seattle.

OLS determined that Baja Concrete USA Corp (Baja Concrete), Newway Forming Inc. (Newway Forming), Roberto Contreras, and Antonio Machado violated the Minimum Wage, PSST, and Wage Theft Ordinances. Baja Concrete, a Florida corporation, and Newway Forming, a Canadian company with a local office in Lynnwood, are respectively concrete finishing and forming companies operating in Seattle. Baja Concrete, Newway Forming, and two individuals - a Baja Concrete manager, and a Newway Forming site superintendent, jointly employed 52 cement finishers, laborers, and carpenters at Seattle residential construction sites, most of whom worked at 1120 Denny Way, Seattle. Alleged violations occurred between February 2018 and August 2020. Baja Concrete, Newway Forming, and the individual manager and superintendent were found to be jointly and severally liable for the violations, including regularly deducting funds from employee paychecks without the employees' authorization; failing to provide employees with Paid Sick and Safe Time; failing to pay employees the minimum wage; failing to pay employees for all hours worked; and failing to pay employees overtime wages or provide sufficient meal and rest breaks. The total financial remedy was $2,225,990.30, with $2,055,204.10 to 53 affected workers and $170,786.20 to the City of Seattle.

Jaguar Security, a small security firm based in Federal Way, Washington, employing approximately 5 employees, and Ricky McGhee, owner of Jaguar Security, settled allegations under the Minimum Wage, PSST, and Wage Theft Ordinances. OLS alleged that before September 2019, the company and its owner failed to pay employees Seattle's Minimum Wage for hours worked in Seattle and did not allow some workers to use their accrued PSST. The total financial remedies were $39,963.07 to 13 workers.

OLS investigated Washington Fine Wine & Spirits, LLC d/b/a Total Wine & More ("Employer") for alleged violations of the Hazard Pay for Grocery Employees Ordinance. Employer operates two retail stores within Seattle that sell wine, spirits, beer, and related merchandise. Specifically, OLS alleged that Employer was not paying hazard pay of $4 per hour to its hourly employees. Employer disputes that the Ordinance applies to its business but has voluntarily agreed to resolve the matter through settlement without a determination as to applicability of the Ordinance or any finding of liability. As part of the settlement, Employer agreed to pay a total of $333,019.57 to 101 current and former hourly Seattle employees.

Sodexo America LLC and SDH Education West LLC (Sodexo), a global food services and facilities management company, settled allegations of retaliatory discipline and termination of an employee at Sodexo's Seattle Pacific University location following the person's use of PSST. Sodexo employed approximately 217 workers at that location during OLS's investigation and has 57 registered entities in Seattle. Sodexo operates in 80 countries and has 420,000 employees worldwide. The total financial remedy was $13,637.33 in back wages, interest, liquidated damages, civil penalties, and fines to one worker.