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As Seattle’s Covid orders end, so will extra pay for food delivery drivers

As of Tuesday, Nov. 1, an estimated 40,000 gig workers will no longer receive extra pay for their work. That’s because Seattle’s Covid emergency proclamation that offered workers extra protection is ending at the end of October.

For many workers like Carmen Figueroa, the extra pay was financial boost.

“I was finally at a point where I wasn’t financially drowning,” said Figueroa, a gig worker with DoorDash. “Now that our pay is going to be cut in half, I’m going to start drowning again.”

With hazard pay ending Figueroa says she’ll have to work more hours to make up the difference.

“It seems so trivial, but $2.50 to me, it’s the world,” she explained.

Figueroa is not alone. Michelle Balzer fills and delivers grocery orders for Instacart. She says every dollar counts.

“We’re still dealing with high gas prices, and we're dealing with inflation across the board, especially in our groceries,” Balzer said.

Earlier this month the mayor’s office announced the end of the emergency proclamation as the city heads toward recovery and revitalization. Seattle’s hazard pay for food delivery workers has been in effect since June 2020.

In addition to the extra pay, the emergency order also provided paid sick leave.

"That sick time has been a godsend because it’s really kept me afloat on the times that I’ve had Covid or have gotten injured to kind of rest my ankle,” Balzer said.

The city’s paid sick leave for food delivery workers expires in six months. Come January 2023, the state’s paid sick time kicks in.

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