April - June 2018


 MAY 

On May 8, 2018, OLS and Ballard Annex Oyster House settled an investigation arising from an alleged retaliatory termination under the Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST) Ordinance. In settlement, the employer agreed to pay back wages, interest, and penalties to the complainant totaling $900.41. 

On May 1, 2018, OLS resolved its investigation of Mirabella Seattle, a continuing care retirement community. In this case, OLS investigated the company's unlawful job posting on Craigslist requiring applicants to pass criminal background checks. The Fair Chance Employment Ordinance prohibits employers from advertising job postings or using job applications that categorically exclude individuals with arrest records or conviction records from any employment positions. Mirabella agreed to strike the categorical exclusion language from its job postings and on its company website. Mirabella also agreed to pay a civil penalty and attend an OLS training on Seattle's labor standards.  

On May 1, 2018, OLS settled with YWCA Seattle over alleged violations of the MW and WT Ordinances involving its Title V Intern Program, a federally funded specialized employment program. The program, which places senior citizens in part-time employment positions, is overseen by the YWCA and the City of Seattle. The complete financial remedy was $17,665.49, which included back wages, interest, and liquidated damages for eight workers.

On May 11, 2018, OLS settled with Agency Security Group, LLC, a temporary agency that employs workers as security guards in Kent and Seattle, Washington, for violations of the PSST, MW, and WT Ordinances. Agency Security Group employs approximately 17 employees. Agency agreed to pay $315.66, to two former employees for minimum wage violations, and a $200 penalty to the City of Seattle. The employer also agreed to revise its PSST policy and begin providing written wage payment and PSST notifications to employees each time wages are paid.

On May 15, 2018, OLS issued a Determination and Order against Danilo's Painting, a painting contractor employing on residential projects. OLS found that violations of the WT Ordinance had occurred between April and October 2015 and awarded $16,261.92 in back wages and interest to three workers due to a failure to pay overtime or to provide rest breaks. OLS also assessed a civil penalty of $2,500 against Danilo's for willful interference with the investigation.

On May 22, 2018, OLS settled with Wonder Coffee & Sports Bar, an International District store than employed four workers over the past three years. Although the owner failed to keep accurate time and payroll record, OLS was able to determine that one worker was owed back wages due to violations of the MW and WT Ordinances. The employer agreed to pay the worker $1,234.40 in back wages and penalties. The employer also agreed to develop and implement a PSST policy, begin retaining required records, and begin providing wage payment and PSST notifications to employees each time wages are paid.

JUNE

 On June 4, 2018, OLS settled with Macys, which operates two department store locations in Seattle, for failing to pay an employee at its Northgate Mall location for a day of work. The employer agreed to pay $719.10, including $515.00 in civil penalties for its first violation of the WT Ordinance.

On June 8, 2018, OLS settled an investigation into violations of the PSST Ordinance with Heartland Payment Systems, LLC and Global Payment Holding Company. In this case, the companies' outside sales employees failed to receive PSST, notice of the employers' PSST policy or of available PSST hours. Respondents quickly remedied their practices and agreed to provide $57,566 in back wages for payout of PSST and 1,153 hours of back-accrued PSST to 13 affected individuals (for the period from January 2015 to January 2018).

On June 8, 2018, OLS settled with Lotus Thai Cuisine LLC, a small Seattle restaurant with 10 employees. The investigation revealed that the restaurant violated the Wage Theft Ordinance by failing to account for all hours that employees worked and by failing to pay overtime. The owner was also sharing in the common tip pool and did not provide required ten-minute breaks for every four hours worked. Lotus Thai agreed to pay back nine workers a total of $48,036.39, which included $1,000 in compensation to two workers who suffered retaliation. The owner received training from OLS's Business Engagement Specialist. The settlement agreement also requires additional training to be provided to Lotus Thai's accountant, who serves other small, Asian-owned businesses in Seattle and can help those businesses comply with labor standards ordinances. 

On June 14, 2018, OLS settled a case with Suitsupply, a large men's clothing company with multiple international locations, including one in Seattle, and more than 500 employees worldwide. The investigation revealed that Suitsupply failed to increase the minimum wage on January 1, 2017 in violation of the MW and WT Ordinances. The total financial remedy was $5,899.63 payable to the four employees, and $1,230 in civil penalties and fines payable to the City of Seattle.

On June 20, 2018, OLS settled with Zaina Food Drinks and Friends, a restaurant that kept all credit card tips, failed to pay overtime, and did not provide paid sick leave to its employees. In the settlement, Zaina agreed to pay a total of $126,209.11, in back wages, unpaid overtime, and PSST remedies, liquidated damages, and civil penalties. Zaina employed over 20 workers over the course of the three-year violation period. Zaina also agreed to bring its recordkeeping practices into compliance with Seattle's labor standards, and to implement a written PSST policy.

On June 20, 2018, OLS settled with Amazon for violations of the Fair Chance Employment (FCE) Ordinance. The investigation revealed that Amazon was systematically denying applicants for warehouse positions the opportunity to dispute findings in background checks. Instead, Amazon told applicants, whose background check did not clear, that they were "no longer being considered for employment." While applicants were permitted to present information to dispute the background check report, Amazon failed to tell applicants that they could provide verifiable information of rehabilitation or good conduct. Amazon agreed to pay a $500.00 penalty to the complainant in this case and changed its FCE policy and practice to make them compliant with the law.