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Updates

Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Policy and Notice of Rights

July 8, 2020 / Seattle

Uber’s paid sick and safe time policy applies to all qualified drivers and delivery people working in Seattle. This blog post describes Uber’s policy and notification of rights under Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

Paid sick and safe time in Seattle

Under Seattle’s Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, you can now accrue and use paid sick and safe time (“PSST”) as explained below. You accrue one day of PSST for every 30 (non-consecutive) days you drive with Uber, dating back to October 2019. Completing at least one trip or delivery in the city of Seattle counts as one day.

Eligibility

To be eligible to use PSST, you must have taken at least 1 trip or delivery in the city of Seattle in the last 90 days, as explained further below1.

1Per the Ordinance, certain exclusions may apply.

Payment of paid sick and safe time days

PSST days are calculated using your daily average of earnings for your highest-earning month since October 2019. This average is recalculated monthly.

Claiming and viewing paid sick and safe time

Accrued PSST is available for immediate use. You can claim PSST, view your PSST balance (accrued, available, and used days), and view your current average daily compensation rate (which is used to calculate payments of PSST), at any time by clicking here.

Payment for each claim will be processed within 14 days. You may carry over up to 9 days of PSST per year.

Purpose of the Seattle Gig Worker PSST Ordinance

On June 12, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the city of Seattle enacted the Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance (“Ordinance”). This temporary law went into effect on July 13, 2020.

Qualified gig workers have a right to use PSST for any reason covered by the Ordinance, including but not limited to:

  • To care for themselves or a family member for a physical or mental health condition, including a doctor’s appointment.
  • To care for themselves, a family member, or a household member for reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • When their family member’s school or place of care has been closed.
  • If the company reduces, suspends, or discontinues operations for health or safety-related reasons.

For both paid sick time and paid safe time, “family member” includes the following individuals, without regard to age: spouse, registered domestic partner, child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, parent, grandparent, grandchild, and parent-in-law.

For paid safe time only, “household member” includes child, stepchild, foster child, sibling, parent, stepparents, stepchildren, grandparents, grandchildren, current and former spouses and domestic partners, persons who have a child in common, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who have resided or are residing together, and persons 16 years of age or older who are or were residing together and who are or were in a dating relationship.

Worker coverage

Under the Ordinance, a gig worker is entitled to use accrued PSST if the gig worker has performed work using the Uber app, where the work was performed in whole or part in Seattle (meaning work that includes a work-related stop in Seattle), within 90 calendar days preceding the gig worker’s request to use PSST. A gig worker is entitled to use PSST during a deactivation or other status that prevents work with Uber unless such status is due to a verified allegation of sexual assault perpetrated by the gig worker.

Accrual of paid sick and safe time, Uber’s choice of year

In accordance with the Ordinance, gig workers are entitled to accrue PSST until 180 days after the termination of the civil emergency proclaimed by the Mayor on March 3, 2020, or the termination of any concurrent civil emergency proclaimed by a public official in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and applicable to the City, whichever is latest.

Gig workers who commenced work with the Uber app before July 13, 2020, shall begin accruing PSST on October 1, 2019, or upon commencement of work, whichever is later, and shall accrue one day of PSST for every 30 days worked.  A day worked under the Ordinance and this policy is any calendar day that a gig worker accepts an offer of prearranged delivery or transportation services for compensation using the Uber app, where the work is performed in whole or in part in Seattle.

Gig workers may carry over nine days of accrued unused paid sick and paid safe time to the following calendar year.

  • “Year” is defined as a calendar year. 
  • If Uber transitions from one type of year to another for the purpose of carrying-over accrued, unused paid sick and paid safe time, Uber will ensure that the transition process maintains the accrual, use, carryover, and other requirements of the Ordinance. 
  • If a gig worker carries over unused PSST to the following year, accrual of PSST in the subsequent year shall be in addition to the hours accrued in the previous year and carried over.

If Uber quits, sells, exchanges, or disposes its business, or its business is otherwise acquired by a successor, a gig worker shall retain all accrued, unused PSST and is entitled to use such PSST as provided in the Ordinance.

Confidentiality and Nondisclosure

Except as provided below, Uber will maintain the confidentiality of information provided by the gig worker or others in support of the gig worker’s request for PSST, including but not limited to health information of the gig worker or the gig worker’s family member, the fact that the gig worker or gig worker’s family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, the fact that the gig worker requested or obtained paid sick and paid safe time under the Ordinance, and any written or oral statement, documentation, record, or corroborating evidence provided by the gig worker.

  • Under the Ordinance, information given by a gig worker may be disclosed by Uber only if it is:
    • Requested or consented to by the gig worker; 
    • Ordered by a court or administrative agency; or 
    • Otherwise required by applicable federal or state law.

Separation from work

In accordance with the terms of the Ordinance, if a gig worker for whatever reason stops using the Uber app to earn money, and commences working again within 12 months:

  • Previous work shall be counted for purposes of determining the gig worker’s eligibility to use accrued PSST, except that if a gig worker for whatever reason stops using the Uber app to earn money, the total time of work used to determine eligibility shall occur within three years. 
  • Previously accrued, unused PSST shall be retained by the gig worker and the gig worker is entitled to use such PSST, if the gig worker performed work with Uber, and where the work was performed in whole or in part in Seattle, within 90 calendar days preceding the gig worker’s request to use PSST. 

If a gig worker stops using the Uber app and later commences work after 12 months of separation from Uber, the gig worker is not entitled to retain previously accrued PSST and for the purpose of the Ordinance the gig worker shall be considered to have newly commenced work.

Verification request

In the event that a gig worker uses more than three consecutive days of PSST, Uber may require reasonable verification that the gig worker used paid sick time and safe time for an authorized purpose covered by the Ordinance. If Uber requests documentation that accrued PSST hours are being used for a reason that is covered by law, the gig worker is not required to provide documentation explaining the nature of the illness, injury, health condition, or preventive care.

Under the Ordinance, Uber shall not require verification from a health care provider during a civil emergency proclaimed by a public official in response to COVID-19; it shall automatically be considered an unreasonable burden for hiring entities to require verification from a health care provider when a public official has proclaimed a civil emergency in response to COVID-19. 

Retaliation prohibited

A gig worker has the right to be protected from retaliation for exercising in good faith the rights protected by the Ordinance. Uber shall not interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right protected under the Ordinance.  Uber will not adopt or enforce any policy that counts the use of PSST as an event that may lead or result in discipline or other adverse action against the gig worker.

In addition, Uber will not take any adverse action against any person because the gig worker has exercised in good faith the rights protected under the Ordinance.  Uber will not communicate to a person exercising rights protected under the Ordinance, directly or indirectly, the willingness of to inform a government worker that the person is not lawfully in the United States, or to report, or to make an implied or express assertion of a willingness to report, suspected citizenship or immigration status of a gig worker or family member of the gig worker to a federal, state, or local agency because the gig worker has exercised a right under the Ordinance.

Enforcement power and duties

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) and any division therein (“Agency”) shall have the power to investigate violations of the Ordinance and shall have such powers and duties in the performance of these functions as are defined in the Ordinance and otherwise necessary and proper in the performance of the same and provided for by law.

The Agency is authorized to coordinate implementation and enforcement of the Ordinance and may make known guidelines or rules for such purposes.

Furthermore, the Office of Labor Standards is responsible for enforcing the Ordinance and ensuring that gig workers are not retaliated against for using PSST. A gig worker has the right to file a complaint with OLS or to file a lawsuit for a violation of the requirements of the Ordinance, including Uber’s denial of PSST or Uber’s retaliation against a gig worker for requesting or taking PSST or otherwise engaging in an activity protected by the Ordinance. 

OLS also provides free technical assistance, brochures, posters, and other resources. For more information from OLS, call 206-256-5297 or visit here.

PSST Questions

Gig workers with questions about the Ordinance and/or PSST benefits may reach out to Uber and/or Uber Eats support in addition to the OLS links provided elsewhere in this policy.