Drivers Union and Teamsters 117 won an important victory to support drivers who are still working during the COVID-19 crisis.
In an unanimous 9-0 vote, the Seattle City Council passed a new emergency measure to provide paid sick days for Uber/Lyft drivers and other workers in the gig economy during the pandemic.
Spearheaded by union champion Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda, the Paid Sick Days ordinance is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Durkan and fully implemented in 30 days.
Under the ordinance:
- Drivers will earn one paid sick day for every 30 days worked, with an initial bank of paid sick days credited for drivers based on previous work history.
- Sick days will be paid based on a driver’s highest average daily earnings in a month since October 2019.
- All drivers are eligible who have provided at least one work-related trip in the City of Seattle within 90 days prior to requesting a sick day.
- Drivers may use up to three days of paid sick time without being required to provide a doctor’s note.
- The law will remain in effect until 180 days after the termination of the COVID-19 civil emergency declared by the Mayor.
Drivers can use sick days to care for themselves or a family member, including:
- Diagnosis, care, or treatment of an injury, illness, or health condition
- Preventive care
- Closure of family member’s school or place of care
- Services for domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking
This victory would not have been possible without drivers working with the Drivers Union to speak out, testify at online City Council meetings, and share their stories with the media.