To compensate drivers for paid sick days during the COVID-19 pandemic, Uber has agreed to pay $3.4 million to more than 15,000 drivers in Seattle. In addition to the $3.4M, Uber also has to pay $11,000 in fines.
This settlement is a result of the Seattle City Council unanimously approving legislation last June that mandated app-based companies like Uber and Lyft offer their Seattle workers paid sick days during the pandemic.
The money is being divided in two ways: $2.2 million will go to drivers who have not yet used all of their paid sick time, and one day will be removed from their available bank. $1.2 million, which includes interest and other fees, will go toward drivers who couldn’t claim or get approved requested days off.
Under Seattle’s sick-pay bill, drivers and delivery people working in the city are entitled to a number of upfront sick days and one sick day accrued for every 30 days worked. The pay for sick days is based on a driver’s daily average in their top-earning month since October 2020.
Recently, Seattle’s Office of Labor Standards began an investigation into the sick day practice because drivers complained about not receiving the promised time. According to Uber, it conducted an audit. It said software issues affected some workers who were not able to access their accounts: “This has been an ongoing process for several months. We’ve been working with Seattle to correct the issues and make sure drivers were paid correctly for anytime they had been approved.”
This is not the first legal battle Uber has faced in Seattle. The first was in 2015 when the Seattle City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that allowed drivers to form a union and collectively bargain over working conditions. City Council members also voted for a new pay formula for drivers to ensure they earn at least $16.60 per hour. Then, in 2018, Uber paid Washington state drivers approximately $2.2M after their driver’s license numbers and other personal information was exposed in a data breach the company failed to report.
For more information on the latest rideshare industry news, click here.