As we all come to terms with the health crisis here in Seattle, our vibrant and essential hospitality industry workers are also staring down the possibility of economic catastrophe.
Seattle hospitality workers currently have the ability to apply for full or partial unemployment, and our city is working to pass a ban on evictions during this time. Despite these reliefs, there is no 100% rent forgiveness, unemployment payments take time to arrive–and when they do, the amount is often not enough to cover basic living costs in one of the most expensive cities in the nation. Folks who are laid off from jobs that also pay for their medical insurance may have to buy into COBRA or the open market, which can be a devastating cost while relying on unemployment payments alone.
We have started a fund that can be accessed by workers whose hours have been curtailed because of this crisis and who are not being otherwise compensated.