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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 14, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 33
IF YOU WORK, READ THIS:
New website to track Seattle labor law enforcement
Section One
ALL STORIES
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IF YOU WORK, READ THIS:
New website to track Seattle labor law enforcement

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the City's newly created Office of Labor Standards (OLS) have announced new website updates that will allow the public to track enforcement of Seattle's minimum wage, paid sick leave, wage theft, and job assistance ordinances.

The new online dashboard compiles data collected by OLS and presents the information in a digestible format. It will be updated monthly by OLS.

Information displayed for the public will include employee and employer inquiries; new, open, and closed investigations; employees receiving remedies; and the total amount of remedies recovered for employees.

The information will be available at www.seattle.gov/laborstandards. Employers and employees with questions about Seattle labor laws can also get information from the site, and workers can file complaints via email.

'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 OLS Director Dylan Orr.

'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.'

Orr was appointed to head OLS after spending five years with the U.S. Department of Labor as the first openly Transgender presidential appointee in U.S. history.

'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,' 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.'

'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,' City Council member Nick Licata said.

Licata was a strong backer of Seattle's $15 per hour minimum wage, and introduced legislation creating OLS to enforce local labor laws.

'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.'

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.

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