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Seattle Hires New Director For City's Labor Office

U.S. Labor Department
Dylan Orr, the new Director of Seattle's Office of Labor Standards


The Seattle office charged with enforcing the $15 minimum wage law has hired Dylan Orr to be its new director. Before taking the job Orr was the first openly transgender person appointed by the Obama Administration, or any presidential administration.


For the past five years Orr has worked under two Labor Secretaries. He’s is a West Seattle native and University of Washington Law School graduate.


“Seattle is my home. It’s my heart,” says Orr.


Orr will oversee a staff of six people in the city’s office of Labor Standards. The office is in charge of enforcing four laws, most notably, the 15 dollar minimum wage.


“We know the percentage of people who are low wage workers, many of them are minority communities,” Orr says. “So it’s about making sure those workers know their rights if they are being violated and also working with businesses making sure they know what to do to be compliant with the law.”


Working for the Obama Administration Orr developed regulations governing federal contractors and how they treat people with disabilities.  He also led the Labor Department’s effort to increase job opportunities for people living with HIV.


In Seattle, Orr was not one of the four official finalists for the Office of Labor Standards job.

He was applying to be a policy analyst for the Mayor’s office when his resume got him noticed. Orr’s salary will be $118,000.

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.