Seattle’s list of labor rights enacted since 2012

Feb 11, 2020
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Written by Washington Retail
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Since 2012, Seattle has enacted numerous new labor rights that employers need to know about.

Washington Retail Services supports members with compliance questions. You are welcome to contact Rose Gundersen, our VP of Operations and Retail Services at 360-200-6452 ([email protected]). For online resources provided by the Seattle Office of Labor Standards, click here to learn more.

NOTE: Whenever there is a discrepancy in employment standard regulations between jurisdictions, the one more favorable to employees will prevail. (RCW 49.46.120)

Here is the total list of labor standards (in the order in which they were enacted):

  • Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (PSST) (2012), requires employers to provide paid leave for absences due to medical conditions, domestic violence, or other critical safety issues;
  • Fair Chance Employment Ordinance (2013), restricts how employers can use conviction and arrest records during the hiring process and course of employment;
  • Minimum Wage Ordinance (2014), sets a minimum hourly wage that rises with the annual rate of inflation;
  • Wage Theft Ordinance (2014), requires employers to pay all compensation due by reason of employment (including wages and tips);
  • Secure Scheduling Ordinance (2016), establishes predictable scheduling requirements for large retail and foodservice establishments;
  • Domestic Workers Ordinance (DWO) (2018), provides protections for independent contractors and employees who provide domestic worker services in and around the homes of thousands of Seattle families;
  • Commuter Benefits Ordinance (2018), requires employers to provide commuter benefits on a pre-tax basis;
  • Two ordinances protect the rights of drivers for transportation network companies (TNCs) (i.e., Uber and Lyft):
  • TNC Driver Deactivation Rights Ordinance (2019), gives TNC drivers the right to challenge unwarranted deactivations before a neutral arbitrator, and creates a Driver Resolution Center to provide representation for drivers;
  • TNC Minimum Compensation Ordinance (2019), requires that TNC drivers should be paid at least the minimum wage and be reimbursed for expenses, and funds a study to determine the precise method for accomplishing this goal;
  • Four ordinances protect the rights of hotel workers:
  • Hotel Employee Safety Protections Ordinance (2019), requires employers to take certain steps to prevent and report violent and harassing conduct by guests and to support employees who report this misconduct.
  • The Protecting Hotel Employees from Injury Ordinance (2019), limits the workload of employees who clean hotel rooms to reduce the frequency and occurrence of injuries associated with room cleaning.
  • The Improving Access to Medical Care for Hotel Employees Ordinance (2019), requires employers to provide employees working in large hotels with increased access to medical care.

The Hotel Employees Job Retention Ordinance (2019), requires employers to take certain actions to reduce job insecurity in the hospitality industry.