Seattle reaches $3.3M settlement with Uber Eats over gig worker pay violations

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards announced Thursday it reached a settlement worth more than $3.3 million with Uber Eats for alleged violations of the Gig Worker Premium Pay Ordinance.

The ordinance requires food delivery companies like Uber Eats to pay their workers additional compensation called “premium pay” for delivery orders with pick-up and drop-off points within Seattle city limits.

OLS alleged that Uber Eats failed to give workers premium pay when workers went to pick-up locations and the locations were closed, or when customers had canceled or already picked up their orders. Uber Eats also allegedly failed to give workers premium pay for delivery orders from certain drugstores in Seattle.

OLS also alleged that over a 14-day period in 2022, Uber Eats only paid drivers $0.025 per online order instead of the required $2.50 in premium pay due to a software glitch.

In total, Uber Eats has agreed to pay a settlement of $3,333,088.30 to 10,467 gig workers and $2,560.90 in fines to the city of Seattle.

“When Seattle’s gig worker premium pay ordinance was passed, we worked over a few weeks to build an entirely new payment system to comply with the law in a timely manner,” said Zahid Arab, Uber’s public affairs manager for the west region. “While the vast majority of workers received their premium pay without any issues, we’re grateful that the Seattle Office of Labor Standards worked in partnership with us to immediately correct certain technical glitches, pay all premium pay owed to the workers and improve our systems to ensure accurate and prompt payments in the future.”

The Gig Worker Premium Pay Ordinance will expire with the COVID-19 civil emergency in Seattle on Oct. 31.

Gig workers have up to three years from the date of the alleged violation to file a complaint with OLS or take other legal action.

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