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UberEats, DoorDash drivers must be paid Seattle's minimum wage, city council decides

New legislation establishes a formula based on a per-minute rate, a per-mile rate and a few other factors to ensure app workers receive Seattle's minimum wage.

SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council unanimously approved first-of-its-kind legislation requiring companies like UberEats and DoorDash to pay their workers the city's minimum wage of $17.27 an hour.

The legislation, brought forward by Seattle City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Andrew Lewis, establishes a formula that considers factors like a per-minute amount, a per-mile amount and engaged minutes and miles to determine an app worker's compensation.

App workers who begin their trips in Seattle are required to be compensated based on the formula regardless of where the end destination is. App workers who begin their trips elsewhere will be required to be compensated based on the portion of the trip they spent in Seattle. 

The legislation will also create more transparency about how payments are split between workers and app-based companies.  

Herbold and Lewis held meetings and public hearings with app workers and stakeholders for over a year while drafting the legislation.

“We live in an expensive city; many delivery workers earn below the minimum wage after expenses and tips are accounted for,” said Herbold. “App-based work is one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy with more workers turning to this type of work. The passage of this legislation will help tens of thousands of delivery workers make ends meet while maintaining their flexibility.”

Companies like UberEats and DoorDash have come out against the legislation, saying the payment requirements could lead to "dramatically increased costs" of delivery, consequentially leading to less work for drivers. 

Several other pieces of legislation related to app-worker protections are expected to follow. The next bills will seek to address restroom access, anti-discrimination policies, background checks, deactivation protection and the creation of a gig-worker advisory board for the city of Seattle.


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