Mayor Bruce Harrell, with supporters, signing Paid Sick and Safe Time for App-Based Workers Ordinance

On March 29, Drive Forward was invited by Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell to attend the signing ceremony, where he signed into law permanent Paid Sick and Paid Safe Time for App-Based Contractors like you.  In partnership with other driver advocacy groups, our members, staff and leadership, put pressure on elected officials in the City of Seattle to make permanent a benefit that was only temporarily provided during the COVID pandemic emergency.  This success for App-based contractors means app companies have to continue to pay Paid Sick and Paid Safe Time as society transitions into dealing with COVID as an endemic.

As you know, paid sick and paid safe time is an essential benefit for app-based contractors, as it ensures that they can take care of their health without worrying about losing income. Need to go to a doctor’s appointment, stay home with a sick child, or help a loved one in crisis, you’re covered.  For those of you who work in the City of Seattle, starting on May 1st for food and grocery delivery apps and in January 2024 for many more covered apps you will receive Paid Sick and Safe Time if you need time off for any covered reason.

This new permanent benefit will help keep our communities safe and healthy. App-based contractors interact with many community members throughout their workday, making it easy to not only to get sick, but to spread disease too.  Now when a contractor is sick, they can take time off without worry of lost income or being deactivated, preventing their cold, flu, or even COVID from infecting others in our communities. Importantly, not only does this law allow you to take paid time off for illness, but it also allows paid time off to ensure your safety or the safety of a loved one who might find themselves in crisis due to mental health, domestic violence, or other covered reasons.  Crucially allowing you to provide aid and comfort to a loved one or needed selfcare if facing these difficult traumas.

Left to Right, Karina Bull (Council Central Staff), Karem Levitas (Office of Labor Standards), Steven Marchese (Director of OLS), Mayor Bruce Harrell, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, James Lockhart (Drive Forward MAC Chair), Lynn Reed Drive Forward MAC Vice-Chair), Michael Wolfe (Drive Forward Executive Director), Briana Thomas(Labor Liaison, Office of the Mayor)

Independence and flexibly in app-based contracting has been Drive Forward’s primary focus when advocating for our members in government.  This legislation is reflective of that priority through not only the flexibility of scheduling time off in advance or in the moment, but also in the wide scope of covered reason to take paid sick and safe time. By advocating to make this benefit become permanent after COVID emergencies end, Drive Forward continues to ensure the preservation of your flexibility in how you access work and earn income.

Paid Sick and Paid Safe Time is essential for app-based contractors, and we are proud of the work Drive Forward has done to make this temporary benefit permanent.  By providing app-based contractors with flexibility in the law to take time off when you need it without lost income, the City of Seattle, along with Drive Forward and others who advocated for this law, is improving the health and safety of you and your community. 

Thank you for being part of Drive Forward and continuing to allow us to advocate on your behalf.