Washington: Protections for Gig Workers


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Quick Look

  • App-based network companies in Seattle, WA must provide paid sick and safe time to their workers under a pilot program.
  • Transportation network companies in Washington must provide premium payments to their drivers under the Paid Family and Medical Leave law.
  • Transportation network company drivers are eligible for unemployment insurance in Washington.


Two new laws in Washington state and Seattle create protections for app-based workers.

Seattle App-Based Worker Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance. This Ordinance went into effect on May 1, 2023 and requires app-based workers to accrue at least one day of paid sick and paid safe time for every 30 days with at least one work-related stop in Seattle. Network companies must also allow app-based workers to carry over at least nine days of accrued, unused paid sick and paid safe time to the following year. A “network company” is an entity that uses an online-enabled application or platform to connect customers with app-based workers, presents offers to those workers, and facilitates that provision of services. For now, the Ordinance applies to food delivery network company workers in Seattle working with a network company with more than 250 app-based workers worldwide. On January 13, 2024, the Ordinance will apply to all Seattle app-based workers working with a network company with more than 250 app-based workers worldwide.

Expanded PFML for Drivers. Substitute HB 1570 will now requires transportation network companies (TNCs) to pay drivers who elect coverage under the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFML) an amount equal to their self-employment premiums. Currently, TNC drivers pay the premiums for elective coverage. This requirement will launch under a pilot program from July 1, 2024 to December 31, 2028. The law also provides unemployment insurance to TNC drivers.


Action Items

  1. Revise leave policies to include app-based workers in Seattle and Washington.
  2. Revise payroll systems to account for leave accruals and premium payments.
  3. Have appropriate personnel trained on the requirements.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser. © 2023 ManagEase