Service workers speak out about their real "Nightmare before Christmas": their work schedules


New data highlights how unstable & unpredictable work schedules have become the real nightmare before Christmas for retail & food workers in Washington state

Academic researchers to join conversation as workers speak out about need for a statewide secure scheduling law in Washington

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for retail & food workers. But the scramble doesn't stop on January 1st: new data underscores how service workers in our state struggle year round to secure the balanced, flexible schedules they need to make the rent, care for their families, and live their lives. 

Join us for this special event to learn from top academic researchers about the magnitude of scheduling issues in Washington State, then hear food & retail workers speak out about their own scheduling nightmares and call for the state legislature to pass a statewide secure scheduling law.

Who: Food & retail workers from across Washington, joined by top academic researchers and other supporters 

What: Share data & experiences about unstable & unpredictable work schedules, and call for change

When: 1:00pm, Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Where: Join us LIVE on Facebook at 1pm, or in person at the Working Washington offices, in the shadow of the Space Needle at 116 Warren Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109. (Note: if you’ve been to our Columbia Street office before: we moved last month!).


Two of the nation’s top academic researchers on work schedules looked at data provided by several thousand workers from large chains in Washington State (excluding Seattle) and published a comprehensive new report titled Working in the Service Sector in Washington State which shows that:

  • More than half of people working working for large food and retail chains in Washington have variable or rotating schedules, with a 31% variation between weeks with the most hours and weeks with the fewest hours. 

  • Almost four in ten worked a clopen in the last month (a closing shift one night followed by an opening shift the next morning), and 21% worked on-call.

  • About 70% of part-time workers want to work more hours

  • A quarter of workers get less than week’s notice of their schedules; seven in ten struggle with their caregiving responsibilities because of their schedules

  • And more...

Inspired by the success of Seattle’s 2016 secure scheduling law, food and retail workers across the state will be pushing to make secure scheduling a top priority in the state legislature next year. Similar laws have also been passed in San Francisco, New York City, Oregon, Philadelphia, and other jurisdictions over the last few years.


Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: