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Mayor Durkan Announces Steven Marchese as the New Director of the Office of Labor Standards

Seattle (January 7, 2021) – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today announced that Steven Marchese will join the City of Seattle as the new director of the Office of Labor Standards (OLS). Marchese will join the City with over 20 years of public service experience. Most recently, Marchese served as Public Service Director for the Minnesota State Bar Association, leading efforts to link pro bono legal services to organizations that serve the public. Additionally, he served as the director of the Saint Paul School Board and worked closely with community, employees, leadership, labor representatives, and elected officials.

“Over the last three years, Seattle has passed major worker protections bills including new rights and wages for domestic workers and TNC drivers. All those who work in Seattle should make a living wage, be supported in their workplace, and have a place to reach out should they have concerns. COVID-19 has brought dozens of challenges for businesses and their employees, but we will emerge as a stronger more equitable City,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “As Steven begins this new role, I am grateful to Acting Director Jeneé Jahn and the entire OLS staff who have helped navigate an unprecedented year.”   

“Seattle is a national leader in developing and supporting wage, labor, and workforce practices that create a fair and healthy economy for workers, businesses, and residents alike,” said Marchese. “And I am honored to join this team and build on these gains in a way that focuses on creating equity and addressing the historic disparities, particularly as Seattle rebuilds and recovers.” 

Prior to launching the search the Seattle Department of Human Resources conducted listening sessions with the OLS Advisory Board, OLS Staff and the OLS Leadership Team regarding the desired qualities of the Director. Recruitment efforts focused on employees of civil rights organizations centering worker issues, BIPOC professional legal associations and OLS stakeholders.  The selection process included feedback from Department Directors (including OED, SOCR), members of the OLS staff and RSJI Change Team, the OLS Leadership Team, representatives of the OLS Advisor Board, the Small Business Advisory Committee, and local labor leaders. 

The Office of Labor Standards was created in April 2015 to implement the City’s labor standards for Minimum Wage, Paid Sick and Safe Time, Wage Theft, Fair Chance Employment (limiting the use of conviction and arrest records in employment decisions), Secure Scheduling, Hotel Employees Protections Ordinances, Domestic Workers Ordinance, Commuter Benefits Ordinance, Transportation Network Company Legislations and other laws the City may enact in the future.