Mayor Appoints Director of New Office of Labor Standards

Mayor Ed Murray today named Dylan Orr as director of the new Office of Labor Standards (OLS), which oversees implementation of the city’s historic minimum wage law.

Orr served for over five years at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), including two years as chief of staff for the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), where he served as principal strategic advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Labor, developed labor policies and oversaw a staff of more than 50. Prior to that, Orr served as special assistant to ODEP for three years.  During his time at DOL, Orr worked closely with DOL’s Wage and Hour Division, DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Department of Justice, among others, and played an instrumental role in the development and implementation of historic labor policies and practices.

“Dylan has the right background and leadership experience to ensure the City meets its commitment to protecting workers and ensuring businesses comply with labor standards,” Murray said. “I’m confident he’ll be a strong and capable leader as we take the next steps forward in implementing the city’s minimum wage law.”

Orr is a Seattle native and holds a law degree from the University of Washington. He was the first openly transgender person appointed by the Obama administration, and the first ever to be appointed to any U.S. Presidential Administration. Orr will earn $118,000 annually.

“I look forward to serving the communities, workers and businesses of the City of Seattle,” Orr said. “I believe that with the implementation and enforcement of the City’s new ordinances, we can advance the economic mobility of our citizens, promote a healthy, productive and diverse workforce, while also boosting Seattle’s economy.”

Mayor Murray proposed the ordinance that established OLS to enforce the city’s labor laws and protect workers and educate employers about their responsibilities. OLS, housed within the Office of Civil Rights, in addition to implementing the Mayor’s minimum wage ordinance, is tasked with investigating wage-theft complaints and pursing action against employers under the City’s wage theft ordinance, the City’s paid sick and safe time ordinance, as well as the City’s job assistance ordinance.

“Dylan is an energetic and enthusiastic public servant committed to ensuring opportunity for all Americans and creating a world where each person’s contribution is valued,” U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said. “He believes in outreach and building coalitions, and recognizes that we all succeed only when we all succeed. Dylan will be instrumental in building brighter futures for the working families of Seattle.”