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Council Passes Legislation Establishing Labor Standards for Independent Contractors

Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle and South Park), issued the following statement in response to the unanimous vote on CB 120069

“Misclassified workers are among the most vulnerable workers and independent contractors are a quickly growing segment of our workforce. We don’t know how many workers are misclassified, but US Labor Secretary Marty Walsh has said, ‘in a lot of cases gig workers should be classified as employees.’  So there’s definitely more work to be done in this area. In the meantime, this legislation will provide independent contractors with labor standards that typical employees take for granted – like simply knowing what the agreement for payment is, an explanation of the basis for payment after receiving it, and an obligation of timely payment. 

“For me, addressing the effects of misclassification on a growing segment of our workforce is a priority. During my first committee assignment, I had oversight of the Office of Labor Standards (OLS), and the Council passed Resolution 31863. In part, that resolution requested that the Labor Standards Advisory Committee (LSAC) work with OLS on the issue of misclassification and provide input on effective strategies. In May 2020, the Council received final recommendations from LSAC; however, due to the pandemic we were not able to take them up until early this year. 

“The passage of this legislation means that all workers will have easy access to information that will empower them to determine if they are being misclassified or not, while at the same time including timely payment and payment disclosures. This is an important step in making sure all Seattle workers are compensated for the work they do with transparency and fairness.”

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