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July-September 2022

The Swedish Medical Center Foundation settled with OLS following OLS’s investigation of an alleged violation of the Fair Chance Employment (FCE) Ordinance. The foundation has one location in Seattle and employs about 35 people. OLS alleged the employer failed to identify to a job applicant the individual criminal history record upon which it relied in making an adverse employment decision. In settlement, the employer agreed to pay a civil penalty of $575.31 to one affected person. The employer also agreed to attend management training by OLS and to implement a written policy that complies with the FCE ordinance.

Soi, LLC dba Soi, Tuk Tuk Thai LLC, and owners Gabriel Wiborg and Somkhit Pulaiyao settled with OLS following an investigation of alleged violations of the Minimum Wage, Paid Sick and Safe Time (PSST), and Wage Theft Ordinances. Allegations included failure to provide PSST when employees called out sick, maintain a PSST policy or provide notification of accrued PSST balances, pay employees minimum compensation and proper overtime rate, provide meal breaks of the required length and at the correct time, and maintain employment records for all employees. OLS also alleged the owner improperly participated in the tip pool. The employers, who operated one restaurant location in Seattle, agreed to pay a total financial remedy of $28,284.86 to 106 workers and $1,112.60 to the City of Seattle.

OLS investigated Cash America West, Inc. and First Cash, Inc. (Cash America Pawn) for alleged violations of the Minimum Wage, PSST, and Wage Theft Ordinances. The international pawnbroker company has more than 500 employees worldwide and operates 2 Seattle locations. OLS alleged the employer failed to pay Seattle’s minimum wage rate, provide employees with a written PSST policy, provide required rest and meal breaks, and provide required written notices of employment information. The companies settled the allegations and agreed to pay a total financial remedy of $379,125.73 to 253 employees and $4,747.96 to the City of Seattle. The companies also agreed to provide employees with notices of employment information, develop and implement a written PSST policy, and implement meal and rest break policies.

OLS settled with Zeek’s Pizza after investigating an alleged second violation of the Wage Theft Ordinance by the local pizza chain. OLS alleged for several periods between January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2022, the company failed to disclose, on menus and customer receipts, the percentage of the service charge paid to the employees serving the customer, as required by Washington State law. If any portion of a service charge is not clearly designated as being retained by the employer, it must be paid to the employees serving the customer. Zeek’s Pizza, which settled with OLS regarding similar allegations in April 2019, agreed to pay a total financial remedy of $409,226.80 to 224 current and former employees.

OLS reached an informal resolution of allegations under the Gig Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance with Portier, LLC dba Uber Eats, a large food delivery network company with over 10,000 Seattle workers. OLS alleged Uber Eats failed to provide paid sick and safe time to a driver who initially drove for the company in another state before moving and making deliveries in Seattle. Uber Eats agreed to make a total settlement payment of $1,562.34 for back pay, interest, liquidated damages, and civil penalties to the affected driver.

OLS investigated Uber Eats, a large food delivery network company with over 10,000 Seattle workers. The company settled allegations under the Gig Worker Premium Pay Ordinance. OLS alleged Uber Eats failed to pay premium pay when workers went to pick-up locations and the locations were closed or the customers had cancelled or already picked up their orders, and when workers picked up and delivered items from certain drug stores. OLS also alleged that, for 14 days, the company paid drivers $0.025 per online order rather than the required $2.50 in premium pay. The company agreed to pay a total financial remedy of $3,333,088.30 to 10,467 gig workers, and $2,560.90 in fines to the City of Seattle.

Capitol Cider, LLC settled allegations under the PSST Ordinance. The restaurant has one Seattle location with under 20 employees. During the investigation, OLS alleged the business denied an employee PSST and terminated the employee in retaliation for requesting use of PSST. The restaurant implemented some changes in practice right at the start of the investigation to prevent recurrence. The employer settled the investigation and agreed to develop and distribute a fully compliant PSST policy to all Seattle employees; and pay the former employee $4,081.09 in back wages, interest, and civil penalties.

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The Office of Labor Standards enforces Seattle’s labor standards ordinances to protect workers and educate employers on their responsibilities.