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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Seattle could reverse gains for app delivery drivers

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024   

The Seattle City Council could reduce wages and reverse other protections for app delivery drivers less than six months after an ordinance to provide drivers with a minimum wage took effect.

At the beginning of 2024, Seattle's "PayUp" ordinance went into place, requiring app delivery companies to pay drivers a minimum wage of $26.40, as well as minimums for per-minute and per-mile while working.

Alex Kim, a delivery driver for several app-based services in Seattle, said establishing a minimum wage reduced the stress of his job significantly.

"It just means that things that are outside of my control now I'm not getting punished for, essentially, which feels really good," Kim said. "I know that I will still get compensated for my time."

However, the Seattle City Council could roll back some of the requirements of the PayUp ordinance, reducing hourly wages to $19.97, the city's mandated minimum wage. App companies say a minimum $5 fee has been added to orders because of the ordinance. The city council will vote on an overhaul of the ordinance on Tuesday.

Hannah Sabio-Howell, communications director with Working Washington, which pushed for the initial passage of the PayUp ordinance in 2022, said the app companies haven't actually made it clear why the they've levied fees on orders.

"The bottom line is that customers are footing the bill for what the corporations want to say is the minimum wage ordinance. However, they have not been forthcoming about the way in which the fee is financially necessary," she argued.

Gabriela Quintana, senior policy associate with Economic Opportunity Institute, said not enough time has passed to understand the ordinance's impact.

"It's clearly retaliation, because they're moving so quickly on it," Quintana insisted. "What is the rush here? Let's give this a chance."

Disclosure: Economic Opportunity Institute contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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