NEWS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
Contact: Chelsea Kellogg, Chelsea.Kellogg@seattle.gov
Mayor Durkan Applauds City Council Unanimous Passage of her Fare Share Plan to Guarantee a Fair Minimum Compensation Standard for TNC Drivers
Drivers for companies Like Uber and Lyft will now earn at least $16.39 per hour
SEATTLE (September 29, 2020) – Today, Mayor Durkan celebrated City Council’s unanimous passage of a new minimum compensation standard for TNC drivers. Seattle is only the second City in the country to guarantee a minimum compensation threshold to drivers. Under the ordinance, drivers for companies like Uber and Lyft will be guaranteed a fair wage that is at least the equivalent of Seattle’s large employer minimum wage plus reasonable expenses.
“Despite the economic challenges our City faces right now, Seattle will continue to be a national leader in ensuring our workers are treated fairly. The pandemic has exposed the fault lines in our systems of worker protections, leaving many front line workers like gig workers without a safety net. It is more important than ever that we add to the economic resilience of our community of drivers. The Fare Share plan guarantees that drivers will receive fair pay and can provide for themselves and their families. I want to thank the strong coalition of supporters who worked to get this important piece of legislation passed, in particular Finance & Housing Committee Chair Teresa Mosqueda for seeing this bill through the Council process,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan.
The ordinance is the result of months of policy development, research, and direct driver engagement. The City engaged economists James Parrott from The New School and Michael Reich of University of California Berkeley to conduct an independent economic analysis to recommend the minimum compensation standard for the City. That study by James Parrott of The New School and Michael Reich of the University of California, Berkeley found that drivers in Seattle are making $9.73 an hour after expenses, well below the Seattle minimum wage. In addition, the City engaged directly with over 11,000 drivers through focus groups, roundtables, and a telephone town hall, to hear what protections were most important to drivers.
Uber and Lyft drivers in King County are disproportionately low income and predominately from immigrant and refugee communities. This ordinance is part of Seattle’s commitment to address the disparate access to economic opportunity experienced by these communities.
The minimum compensation standard will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021 and be enforced by the Office of Labor Standards. Specifically, the ordinance guarantees that drivers will be paid at least $0.56 per minute and $1.33 per mile driven while transporting passengers.
This ground-breaking legislation follows on the heels of the first-in-nation TNC Driver Deactivation Ordinance which the Mayor proposed and the City Council passed in late 2019.