Get this: there’s actually a positive development out of Washington, D.C. Several key senators and representatives have introduced the Schedules That Work Act, a proposed federal law that looks a lot like the breakthrough secure scheduling ordinance we passed in Seattle last year. It recognizes a basic fact that's been overlooked for far too long: workers are people, we have lives, and our time counts, too.
The Schedules That Work Act would provide more stable and predictable schedules to workers across the country by ensuring:
- Two weeks' notice of your schedule
- Minimum "report pay" if you’re sent home early from a scheduled shift
- Right to request input into your schedule
- And more...
Look, I get it. The balance of power at the moment doesn’t seem all too friendly to advancing workers' rights.
But that's not forever.
And workers have made progress before in situations that probably didn't look all that promising either. The Americans with Disabilities Act passed Congress in 1990 with a near-unanimous vote from members of both parties. The last federal minimum wage increase was passed by a Democratic Congress and then signed into law by a Republican president. Here in Washington State we just passed paid family leave through a sharply divided legislature.
We can make secure scheduling happen too.
I’m not going to pretend that it’s a slam dunk. And I’m not going to pretend that this one email on its own is going to make it happen. It’s obviously just a first step, and you’re obviously smart enough to know that.
But it is a step forward. And we do have momentum on our side. Since we passed the landmark Seattle secure scheduling law last year, we’ve seen movements spark up across the nation. New York City workers won a similar law earlier this year. Oregon just passed a statewide version this summer. A new proposal was just introduced in Chicago. And more.
We can harness this momentum and grow the movement by pushing to advance secure scheduling laws at every level, from cities and states to the halls of Congress — because every worker has a right to know when they’re going to work and how many hours they’re going to get.
Your message to Congress keeps us moving forward.