While everyone was watching the Council try to decide whether to impost a head tax, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals made its own news today by ruling against the city in a case regarding its ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to collective bargaining. But buried in the ruling is a legal precedent with potentially far greater impact
It was a four-meeting day. I’ll write on the Civic Arenas and Budget committee meetings separately, but here’s what happened in the Council Briefing and Full Council meetings (tl;dr: Sawant voted “no” on a bunch of things)
This morning, the Council voted out of committee a resolution establishing its “work plan” for revising regulations on taxi, for-hire, and TNC (e.g. Uber and Lyft) services.
Currently under the Office of Labor Standards rules a business can get an exemption in order to pay disabled workers less that the city’s minimum wage (though not less than the state minimum wage). That’s about to change in Seattle.
This morning the City Council once more took up some proposed changes to the city’s anti-discrimination code to make explicit prohibitions against sexual harassment and extend the statute of limitations for filing a complaint. After making a further amendment, the bill was voted out of committee but put on a slow train to full Council approval to allow for some additional analysis and community outreach.
This morning a panel of three judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard back-to-back arguments in two cases challenging the City of Seattle’s ordinance authorizing collective bargaining for Uber and Lyft (and other TNC) drivers.
Both sides found the judges to be deeply skeptical of some of their arguments.
After a week of outstanding reporting by Crosscut on accusations of sexism, harassment, and dysfunctional and “toxic” HR departments in the city bureaucracy, today Mayor Jenny Durkan announced how she would be addressing the issues.
Durkan has an enormous mess to clean up.
Today the Washington State Supreme Court issued an order denying a direct appeal of the challenge to the I-124 ordinance instituting protections for hotel workers.
Yesterday afternoon Council President Bruce Harrell let it be known that he intends to look at a series of issues related to taxis, for-hire drivers, and Transportation Network Companies such as Uber and Lyft. His intention would be to bring forward legislation in the first quarter of 2018.
Lots of goings on today…