Seattle’s city council unanimously approved a measure that pushes app-based companies like food delivery services to improve wages and other working conditions for gig workers.
Among other things, the legislation would ensure app-based workers are paid minimum wage plus expenses and tips. The rates for workers at companies such as DoorDash Inc., Grubhub Inc. and Uber Eats would begin when drivers accept an order, in an effort to help the drivers — who are contract workers, not employees — earn the city’s $17.27 minimum hourly wage and receive the standard mileage reimbursement set by the Internal Revenue Service.
In a statement, DoorDash criticized the council’s plans and said the proposals would lead to higher costs for customers and reduced earnings for workers.
Councillor Andrew Lewis, a sponsor of the legislation, says large segments of the economy are being automated with lower pay and poor benefits. “This bill is the first step to protect and expand the rights of workers who use these apps.”
Future legislation being considered by the city would aim to regulate a series of transparency and equity issues, including the right to access restrooms, discrimination protections and protections from unfair deactivation from apps that can result in wage loss.