FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 8/11/2015
New tool created to track enforcement of minimum wage, paid sick leave, job assistance, and wage theft laws
SEATTLE – Today Mayor Ed Murray, along with the City Council and the newly-created Office of Labor Standards (OLS), unveiled a website that allows the public to track enforcement of Seattle’s minimum wage, paid sick and safe leave, wage theft, and job assistance ordinance. The dashboard compiles data collected by OLS and presents the information in a digestible format.
“The public needs to be able to see how the new Office of Labor Standards is working effectively to ensure workers are paid and treated fairly under Seattle’s strong labor laws,” Mayor Murray said. “This new tool allows employers and workers to access readily-available data to show the progress we’re making with enforcing our labor standards and historic minimum wage increase, and where we still need to improve.”
Councilmember Nick Licata said, “This dashboard helps bring to light that employees are being denied wages in Seattle. I’m heartened to know that workers have access to these statistics and that there’s a City agency dedicated to investigating and remedying the situation.”
As of June 2015, the dashboard shows that City has responded to over 3,500 employer and 800 employee questions about Seattle’s labor standards. Since the beginning of the year, OLS has opened 72 new investigations and closed 47 cases.
“The dashboard demonstrates the work we are doing to enforce Seattle’s labor standards, makes our work accessible and transparent to the public, and helps us better track our progress,” said Dylan Orr, Director of the Office of Labor Standards. “We hope this inspires employers to contact us with questions about their obligations, and workers to contact us with questions about their rights and to report violations.”
Every month, OLS will update the dashboard with information, including employee and employer inquiries; new, open, and closed investigations; employees receiving remedies; and the total amount of remedies recovered for employees.
“This new online tool transforms the way the city provides labor enforcement data to the public,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “Providing information in real-time and transparently ensures that we hold everyone accountable in order to protect our workers.”
OLS encourages questions about the dashboard and Seattle’s labor standards, including reports of violations, by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (206-684-4500) and walk-in appointments at the downtown office (810 Third Avenue, Suite 750 Seattle, WA 98104). Information about Seattle’s labor standards can be found at www.seattle.gov/laborstandards.
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