Seattle workers poised to make labor history — again

Mayor Murray, Councilmember Herbold, and Councilmember Gonzalez today released proposals for a landmark secure scheduling policy which will provide balance and flexibility for people who work in coffee, fast food, and retail by providing two weeks’ advance notice of their schedules, predictability pay when employers make changes, shift swapping for additional flexibility, a right to rest which eliminates mandatory clopens, and access to hours for those who want them.

"Just two years after Seattle passed the nation’s first citywide $15 minimum wage, baristas and fast food workers with Working Washington are making history again. The secure scheduling proposals released today will ensure tens of thousands of Seattle workers have the balance, flexibility, and power it takes to care for your family, contribute to your community, and build a better future.
"A secure schedule means having the power to live your life. It means having a chance to set a budget because you can actually predict what your paycheck will say from one week to the next. And it means having the flexibility to go back to school, get a second job, or pursue your dreams." — Sejal Parikh, Executive Director, Working Washington

The policy proposals released today would comprehensively address the crisis of unpredictable, insecure schedules for coffee, food service, and retail workers.  (The City has posted policy proposals online in the form of a presentation as well as a policy outline.) 

Key proposals include:

Advance notice so people can plan their lives:

Workers would receive periodic good-faith estimates of their hours, and at least 2 weeks’ notice of their schedules so they can plan their lives and find the balance & flexibility they need.

Predictability pay when things change:

If an employer cuts or cancels a shift, workers would receive compensation for half the scheduled hours that are lost. If an employer adds a shift to the schedule, workers would receive one hour of predictability pay to compensate them for their flexibility. 

Shift swapping for additional flexibility:

If workers swap shifts with each other, there would be no predictability pay. This will protect workers' ability to create additional flexibility through voluntary shift swapping.

Right to rest which eliminates mandatory clopens:

Mandatory clopens would be eliminated — employers would not be allowed to require people to work back-to-back closing and opening shifts that are less than 10 hours apart on different days. If a worker voluntarily chooses to work a clopen, they would get overtime pay for those hours that fall within the 10-hour window.

Access to hours for those who want them:

Employers would be required to offer new shifts to current employees who want to work more hours before bringing on additional part-time employees.

employer Coverage:

The secure scheduling proposal released today would cover workers at coffee, retail, and fast food companies which employ more than 500 people globally in their company, chain, or franchise network. The current proposal also includes workers at  full-service restaurant chains with more than 500 global employees and more than 40 locations. (Think: Starbucks, REI, Target, McDonald's, Olive Garden).

Next steps:

The next step is to make sure the final ordinance language reflects these policies, despite the efforts we expect to see from business lobbyists to carve out loopholes that would undermine these goals. 

Sound good? Then take a moment to tell City Council you support scheduling!

Media inquiry? Check out our Secure Scheduling Press Kit.