Instacart settles with Seattle over alleged sick leave policy violations

SEATTLE — Instacart will pay workers more than $730,000 to settle claims accusing the company of violating Seattle’s Gig Worker ordinance.

The case claims the grocery-delivery company allegedly violating Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance.

The ordinance went into effect during the COVID pandemic on July 13, 2020, and ended when the pandemic emergency was lifted on April 30, 2023.

More than five thousand Instacart workers say they weren’t paid for sick leave during that time.

The ordinance says app-based workers are entitled to receive one day of time off for every 30 days when they have had at least one work-related stop in the city.

Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards Director, Steven Marchese said in a statement, “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 (Paid Sick and Safe Time).”

In a statement to KIRO 7, Instacart said, “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. 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.”