Community Outreach and Education Fund - Guidelines 2015

Labor Standards Community Outreach and Education Fund

The Office of Labor Standards (OLS), a division of the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, is partnering with community-based organizations to conduct worker outreach, education, and technical assistance on Seattle’s labor standards.

The Labor Standards Outreach and Education Fund will foster collaboration between OLS and the community with funds to develop awareness and understanding of worker rights provided by Seattle’s labor standards. Total contract funds equal $1,000,000. Funds for the first 12-month contract cycle (September 2015 – August 2016) will total approximately $700,000; an additional $300,000 in funding will be available in September 2016. The amount of funding per organization should be enough to cover sufficient staffing, administrative, and outreach costs for the organization to successfully carry out the deliverables of the contract. Funding will be awarded in the following categories:

Community Connector = (Maximum Funds Available: $175,000) focused on community outreach and education efforts.

Capacity Builder = (Minimum Funds Available: $525,000) focused on technical assistance, including labor rights counseling, claims intake and referral services, and direct worker or service provider training on Seattle’s labor laws.

*Applicants may apply for funds in one or both categories, and in partnership with other organizations.*


What are Seattle’s Labor Standards?

Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance

As of April 1, 2015, small and large employers must pay $11 minimum wage for work performed in the City of Seattle. Seattle’s minimum wage will increase gradually to $15 an hour.

  • Large employers (501 or more employees in the United States) will reach a $15/hour minimum wage in 3-4 years. Large employers can meet this requirement in two ways:
    1. Pay an hourly minimum wage, or
    2. Starting 2016, pay a reduced hourly minimum wage if the employer makes payments toward an employee’s silver level medical benefits plan.
  • Small employers (500 or fewer employees in the United States) will reach a $15/hour minimum compensation in 5-7 years. Small employers can meet this requirement in two ways:
    1. Pay an hourly minimum compensation rate, or
    2. Pay an hourly minimum wage and make up the balance with employee tips reported to the IRS and/or payments toward an employee’s medical benefits plan.

Administrative Wage Theft Ordinance

As of April 1, 2015, a new Wage Theft Ordinance creates an administrative process for addressing wage theft complaints. The ordinance requires employers to provide employment information at time of hire and change of employment; pay all owed wage and tips on a regular pay day; and provide itemized payroll information every pay day. The ordinance does not replace criminal investigations of wage theft; it remains a crime to withhold payment of wages and tips owed to employees.

Job Assistance Ordinance

As of November 1, 2013, the Job Assistance Ordinance sets limits on how employers can use conviction and arrest records for jobs performed in Seattle. The law prohibits categorical exclusions in job postings (e.g. “Felons need not apply”); limits criminal history questions on job applications; requires employers to have a legitimate business reason to deny employment on the basis of a criminal record; and requires employers to provide applicants an opportunity to explain or correct criminal history information.

Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance

As of September 1, 2012, employees working in Seattle accrue paid sick and paid safe time (PSST) for use when they or their family member needs to take time off from work due to illness or a critical safety issue. The ordinance applies to all employers with more than four full-time equivalent employees. All employees are eligible for the benefit, including full time, part-time and temporary workers.


What is the objective of the Community Outreach and Engagement Fund?

For successful implementation of Seattle’s labor standards, workers must understand their rights and businesses must fulfill their obligations. While all workers are at risk for workplace violations, data shows that low-wage workers experience the highest rates of workplace violations. Demographic populations most likely to occupy low-wage jobs and experience workplace violations, include female workers, workers of color, immigrant and refugee workers, LGBTQ workers and youth workers.

To achieve racially and socially equitable outcomes in the enforcement of Seattle’s Labor Standards, the Labor Standards Community Outreach and Education Fund specifically supports these targeted populations. The fund seeks to develop key relationships with community-based organizations to increase workers’ understanding of the rights provided by Seattle’s labor standards and to increase workers’ access to enforcement of labor standards. The fund is designed to:

  • Educate workers, train service providers, and facilitate intake services;
  • Build capacity among community organizations and service providers to provide services to a diverse range of workers, including disproportionately low-wage earners, people of color and immigrant and refugees;
  • Leverage the work of other City of Seattle departments, including Office of Labor Standards, Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and Human Services Department, to promote labor standards across the community.

This contract process was developed through the use of a racial equity toolkit that resulted in following guiding principles:

  • Support organizations and groups that are representative of the communities most impacted by labor standards, and that are connected to a network of similar organizations and culturally-relevant institutions and community service providers;
  • Leverage opportunities likely to have the greatest impact on eliminating racial inequity in the community, and encourage collaborative and creative approaches;
  • Engage communities most impacted by labor standards through the use of culturally-anchored community spaces and through language-specific and culturally-appropriate outreach and education;
  • Provide open and transparent communication about progress and learning that results from the funding process.


Contract Process

Funds will be awarded through a process designed to encourage partnerships among organizations sharing common purposes, and to leverage skills/expertise to educate workers about Seattle’s labor standards.

July 1, 2015 OLS distributes RFP
July 9, 2015 OLS provides a workshop for potential applicants including: training on labor standards, guidelines regarding purposes/goals of the contract, and group sessions to encourage partnerships and joint proposals.
July 24, 2015 OLS provides on-going technical assistance and draft review of proposals upon request through this date.
July 31, 2015 Applicants submit written submissions and requests for oral presentations by 5:00 pm (see requirements in RFP).
August 3 – 7, 2015 Applicants may provide oral presentations.
August 24 – 28, 2015 OLS announces funding decisions.
September 1, 2015 Organizations begin contract period.


Request for Proposals

A. Statement of Need and Intent

The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) seeks proposals from community-based groups (individual organizations or a collaborative group) to assist OLS with targeted outreach, education, and technical assistance on Seattle’s labor standards to workers throughout Seattle. Ideally, organizations will have experience conducting community outreach in communities with low wage workers who are disproportionately impacted by Seattle’s new labor standards, including female workers, workers of color, immigrant and refugee workers, LGBTQ workers, and youth workers. Groups will be able to provide information to workers in culturally appropriate and otherwise accessible formats and languages. Groups also may have experience in labor standards education, and/or labor standards counseling and referral services.


B. Anticipated Contract Term

OLS community contract will be awarded for a term of 12 months, from September 2015 to August 2016. Fund recipients will have the opportunity to apply for a four-month extension upon successful completion of the first contract term.


C. Scope of Work

OLS community funds will increase worker understanding of Seattle labor standards, and will increase access to culturally competent, community-oriented technical assistance, referral and counseling services. Funds will be contracted under two categories: Community Connector Contracts will fund community outreach and education efforts with small to moderate budget needs, and Capacity Builder Contracts will fund labor standards technical assistance, including counseling, intake and referral services, and direct worker training. Capacity Builders may also provide ‘train the trainer’ trainings or workshops to other community groups interested in providing direct worker training in their communities. Further, Capacity Builder contracts can consist of multiple organizations working collaboratively to provide technical assistance, claims intake, community outreach and education. OLS will require separately funded Community Connector organizations and Capacity Builder organizations to work cooperatively to ensure continuity of services and avoid duplication of outreach efforts.

OLS seeks proposals that emphasize outreach and education in one or more of the languages spoken by workers in Seattle, as well as proposals that focus on Seattle’s diverse cultural and geographic communities.

Respondents to the RFP will engage in one or more of the following activities:

  1. Community Connector: Facilitate OLS community outreach and education on Seattle labor standards in one or more languages to target populations described above.
    1. Example #1: A community group may receive funding in exchange for planning, hosting, and completing a pre-determined number of language-specific events to inform workers in their community about Seattle’s new labor standards. The group may arrange for OLS staff or other individuals to provide labor standards information.
    2. Example #2: A community group with a focus on youth employment may arrange a series of labor rights workshops for youth employed in low-wage industries. The organization may use their own staff/volunteers to provide the labor standards information, or partner with OLS staff or a capacity builder organization.
  2. Capacity Builder: Provide culturally-appropriate direct worker training on Seattle labor rights to low-wage workers with a focus on targeted populations and/or provide technical assistance in the form of counseling and referral services for workers, including labor rights guidance, claim evaluation, preliminary claims intake and direct referral to OLS.
    1. Example #1: Equipped with training from OLS and/or previously held expertise in Seattle labor standards, a community group or organization may receive funds to conduct workshops to inform workers of their rights under Seattle’s labor standards.
    2. Example #2: A group may also receive funds to provide train-the-trainer training to Community Connector organizations and other appropriate service providers interested in conducting labor standards trainings directly with workers.
    3. Example #3: An organization offers a legal clinic for low wage workers that provides intake services for labor standards complaints and refers workers directly to OLS and/or provides OLS with a verified complaint.

In addition to agreed-upon services, organizations named in the contract will be expected to provide quarterly reports to OLS describing progress toward their proposal’s objectives. Organizations are expected to collect quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrates successes and challenges in achieving the above outlined deliverables of this contract. Organizations may receive assistance with this reporting from OLS staff.


D. Proposal Submission

Community groups and organizations are encouraged to submit proposals as individual applicants or as a collaborative. Applicants may apply for funds in one or both categories. Groups applying as part of a collaborative effort must provide a description of organizational roles and the proposed allocation of funds requested.

Proposals must be received or postmarked by July 31, 2015 at 5:00 pm.

Applicants may submit proposals electronically using the subject line: Labor Standards Outreach and Education Fund Proposal to OLS community liaison, Tamar Zere (

Applicants also may deliver proposals in person or send via mail to: Seattle Office for Civil Rights/Office of Labor Standards, 810 3rd Avenue Suite 750, Seattle, WA 98104.

Oral Presentations: OLS strongly encourages oral presentations and will accept requests for oral presentations until July 31, 2015 at 5:00 pm. Requests should include a paragraph describing the proposal and brief work plan indicating timeline, staff requirements and budget. Applicants requesting an oral presentation will be scheduled August 3 – 7, 2015, for a 30-minute meeting (20 minutes for presentation and 10 minutes for questions).

Application Assistance: The OLS Community Liaison is available to provide assistance with applications. Please contact the community liaison at to discuss your proposal ideas, ask questions related to the application process, or to set up a draft proposal review. Assistance and draft proposal review will be available through July 24, 2015.


E. Preparing a Proposal

The Labor Standards Community Outreach and Education Fund will provide funding to groups serving workers and communities throughout Seattle’s diverse neighborhoods. Interested parties must prepare a proposal responding to the following questions:

  1. Provide a brief description of your organization or collaboration. As part of this description, please include:
    1. Name of the organization, telephone and webpage URL (if applicable).
    2. Name, title, phone and email address of the individual responding to the RFP.
    3. Describe your organization or collaboration’s experience in:
      1. Providing outreach and education to workers in Seattle;
      2. Providing labor rights counseling and advocacy;
      3. Serving communities of color, immigrants and refugees, other minority/vulnerable communities, and/or low-wage workers by industry or other grouping.
  2. Describe which Seattle communities your outreach and education will target, and what makes your organization well suited to provide services in those communities.
    1. How is your organization or collaboration’s approach to targeted community outreach and education different or more effective than other organizations providing similar services? Please provide examples of previous outreach.
    2. What methods and strategies does your organization or collaboration employ in providing targeted outreach and education? Please outline the outreach strategies that you will use to engage your target community or communities.
      1. Overall program design;
      2. Type, number and size of proposed trainings and workshops;
      3. Anticipated number of workers/community members to be served.
    3. Describe your organization or collaboration’s methods for collecting and reporting on client demographic information, technical assistance provided, and project outcomes. If applicable, please describe a previous example of collecting and reporting this information.
  3. What are your staff and volunteer roles/responsibilities? How will this funding help serve your organization?
  4. Provide a work plan, with a timeline and budget, outlining outreach, collaboration and education strategy and labor standards technical assistance services (if applying for Capacity Builder funds), including specific organizational partners, actions and activities you plan to carry out. Identify the specific timeframe for the actions and activities in your proposals, and describe specific expenses associated with your proposal, including staff costs that would be covered by contract funds and total costs and unit costs per worker with the hourly rate and/or salary.
  5. (For Capacity Builder Only): Describe your organization or collaboration’s experience advocating for and serving low-wage workers.
    1. Does your organization or collaboration provide labor standards counseling or legal services to workers? Has your organization or collaboration conducted intake services and assisted workers with labor standards claims, or other legal claims (e.g. workplace safety, unemployment, disability, immigration)?
    2. Does your organization or collaboration have staff with expertise in Seattle’s new and existing labor standards, or similar labor standards laws?
  6. (For Capacity Builder Only): A capacity builder application that intends to partner with multiple organizations to deliver services must include a list of those organizations, the intended role each organization will play within the collaboration and the projected amount of financing each partner will receive as part of the collaboration. If the capacity builder application is accepted, all listed partner organizations will contract with and receive their funds directly from the Office of Labor Standards.

    Format for written proposals:

    1. Applications will be rated only on the information requested and outlined in this RFP.
    2. Please do not include a cover letter, brochures, or letters of support.
    3. Please type applications with double space, size 12 font, and 1 inch margins on letter-sized (8½ x 11-inch) sheets.
    4. Limit application to a total of 8 pages for questions 1-4, and no more than 3 pages for the budget / timeline.
    5. Organize your application according to the order of questions in this section.


F. Evaluation Criteria

This section outlines the criteria that OLS will use to evaluate proposals. OLS will work with a Labor Standards Community Outreach and Education Fund Evaluation Committee to analyze and evaluate proposals.

Proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:

Community Connector & Capacity Builder

  1. Strength and quality of proposal. (See Preparing a Proposal and associated questions)
  2. Demonstrates clear strategies for facilitating City of Seattle engagement with targeted low-wage worker populations across Seattle’s diverse neighborhoods.
  3. Shows established connections in the target communities. Leverages relationships and partnerships within and across communities to facilitate OLS outreach and education efforts.
  4. Has access to community space or event space in which to host informational events and/or workshops.
  5. Demonstrates understanding of the needs of target communities, and provides culturally-relevant, culturally competent, and language-specific support to targeted low-wage worker populations.
  6. Capacity Builder (in addition to previous criteria)
    Demonstrates experience advocating for worker rights and serving the needs of low-wage workers in Seattle. Establishes framework for providing technical assistance to targeted low-wage worker populations in the form of labor standards intake, counseling, and referral services.


G. Reporting

OLS will assist contracted organizations with quarterly reporting of quantitative and qualitative data that demonstrate the successes and challenges in achieving proposed outcomes. Among other criteria to be determined for outreach and education services, success will be measured by:

  • Number of community labor standards events facilitated.
  • Number of workshops and/or training sessions held in English and one or more languages spoken by workers in Seattle.
  • Number of workers reached through outreach and education activities.
  • Worker demographic data, including race, ethnicity, national origin, gender and age.

For labor standards technical assistance, including intake services, claims guidance and referral, many but not all aspects of success will be measured by:

  • Total number of labor standards complaints received.
  • Number of preliminary intake consultations conducted.
  • Number of labor standards complaints verified and referred to OLS.
  • Total number of workers affected by verified complaints referred to OLS.


H. Civil Rights and Labor Standards Ordinances

The selected fund recipients will enter into a contract that identifies agreed-upon services and requires compliance with Seattle’s civil rights and labor standards ordinances including the Fair Employment Practices (SMC 14.04), Public Accommodations Ordinance (SMC 14.06), Fair Contracting Practices Ordinance (SMC 14.10), Paid Sick and Safe Time (SMC 14.16), Job Assistance Ordinance (SMC 14.17), Minimum Wage (SMC 14.19) and Administrative Wage Theft (SMC 14.20). Conduct made unlawful by these ordinances constitutes a breach of contract and may result in the imposition of damages and civil penalties.


Download: Fund Guidelines | Press Release