Seattle City Council passes landmark legislation ensuring paid sick leave for gig workers

SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to expand labor rights for most gig and app-based workers by giving them paid sick and safe leave.

“It’s good for the health, the physical and mental health of workers; it is also good for the health of our local economy as much as it is good for the health of our population,” Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said.

The bill sailed through without any opposition, and Mayor Bruce Harrell signed it on Wednesday.

“We know what a healthy workforce does. It builds a healthy community,” Harrell said at the signing.

“The twindemic is upon us, and we need public policies to protect us,” Mosqueda said.

Under the new law, workers will accrue one day of sick leave for every 30 days worked on the app that includes stops in Seattle.

The law goes into effect for food delivery companies on May 1. Other app-based workers will gain these benefits on Jan. 13, 2024.

The new Seattle law makes permanent a temporary requirement during the pandemic for app-based companies to offer their contractors paid sick leave.

State law extended that protection to rideshare drivers but did not include drivers for companies like DoorDash and Uber Eats.

DoorDash had no comment on the new law.