City Council passes ‘secure scheduling’ for workers at companies with 500+ employees

(Seattle Channel video of today’s meeting. “Secure scheduling” starts at 51:22)

3:59 PM: “Heck, yeah!” exclaimed City Councilmember Lisa Herbold during the roll call less than an hour ago that brought unanimous approval to her “secure scheduling” bill for large companies’ employees.

She’s been working on it in a unique manner for almost seven months, with open “stakeholder” discussions during meetings of the committee she chairs, Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development, & Arts, and with the partnership of the council’s other West Seattleite, at-large Councilmember Lorena González.

An overview is on this city webpage. Here’s how Herbold summarized it in her most recent online post, looking forward to today’s vote, following its commission passage last week:

Businesses are only covered if they have 500+ employees (and 40 locations for full-service restaurants)

14 days advance notice for schedules

Written good-faith estimate of hours at time of hire

10 hours right to rest between closing and opening shifts (similarly to overtime, this can be voluntarily waived for time and a half wages for the time less than 10 hours)

Predictability pay of one hour of wages only for non-employee requested schedule additions

Half time pay for involuntary reduction in scheduled work hours and on-call shifts

Access to additional hours for existing employees before outside recruitment and hiring

Exceptions for diversity and seasonal hiring

Read the legislation here. Its provisions will take effect July 1st of next year.

10:38 PM: We’ve added the Seattle Channel video of this afternoon’s meeting, which ended about 10 minutes after this vote, because of an unrelated protest.

19 Replies to "City Council passes 'secure scheduling' for workers at companies with 500+ employees"

  • GW Neighbor September 19, 2016 (4:27 pm)

    “Heck Yeah”  I exclaimed, when asked if I will vote for another Rep on the next election cycle.  As a former corporate bartender I would be so mad about this.  This legislation, while meaning well will have blowback.  I am all for union rights but to have them legislated through the council and then allow unions to opt out of the legislation they pushed is fishy at best.  

    If you have a job that doesn’t respect you, go get another job.  The ownership will either fix the issuing causing turnover or eventually go out of business.  The council should not be micro managing business.  The should focus on far away from getting involved in making business decisions after they spent 1.4 million on Pronto of what turns out to be useless bikes and stations.  Now they need to spend 5 million on electric bikes………. Not who I want assisting in the running of my business……  (Herbal is exempt from my Pronto shot as she did vote against it)

    • Pops September 19, 2016 (6:14 pm)

      I feel the same.

    • Mark47n September 19, 2016 (6:58 pm)

      The article referring to collective bargaining doesn’t necessarily exempt unions. It says that collective bargaining agreements shall have a ratified alternative secure structure for scheduling that meets with policy goals in chapter 14.22. This doesn’t get unions around it rather requires a similar structure. Something many collective bargaining agreements already have.

    • AMD September 19, 2016 (10:09 pm)

      I know this has been stated before, but I’d like to remind you that the 40-hour workweek, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, employer-paid health care, and social security are other “union rights” that have been legislated in to apply to everyone over the years.  

      The “get another job” comment just demonstrates a disconnect with the reality of the job market and climate in most work places.

      • Anonymous Coward September 20, 2016 (5:33 am)

        Why did the unions in California seek to exempt represented employees from the newly increased wage minimums?

  • flimflam September 19, 2016 (5:12 pm)

    each councilmember  trying to out-progressive the next.  like an awful episode of portlandia.  

  • Marcus m September 19, 2016 (5:18 pm)

    GW shilling for The Man 

  • Paul Cozens September 19, 2016 (5:51 pm)

    Since when is this the city’s business? Time to move. 

  • O Little September 19, 2016 (6:35 pm)


  • Peter September 19, 2016 (6:38 pm)

    This should apply to all businesses. Why is the council only concerned about corporate employees and ignoring the many thousands who work for small business and who are specifically excluded from these worker protections?

  • Q September 19, 2016 (7:17 pm)

    Heck no. Can’t wait to vote her out. She lost my vote with the “first come first served” plan for rentals and continues to outdo herself.

  • Gene September 19, 2016 (7:35 pm)

    Sorry I voted for LH- won’t make that mistake again.

  • Eric1 September 19, 2016 (9:46 pm)

    It wasn’t much of a choice between LH and SB.  Both of the top two were pretty much political insider twins.  Perhaps SB was a little more business friendly but it isn’t like she was a republican or even half-way moderate.


    Finding a somewhat conservative candidate is a challenge in this city.  I still remember Mark Sidran running for mayor and being vilified for his civility laws.  If you work downtown, some civility would be nice right now.  Even the recent rains hasn’t washed the smell of urine off the sidewalks yet. 

  • JayDee September 19, 2016 (10:30 pm)

    This is not the first or the 20th priority of the City.  Security first: Cops and Firefighters; Water, Sanitation, and Transportation Second.  Seattle should not be legislating/mandating policies for free-market employees including scheduling.  If they don’t like it, they can quit. It is not the City’s responsibility to make every employee happy. 

  • Jeannie September 19, 2016 (10:42 pm)

    Why not a compromise? Instead of 14 days’ advance notice, how about 7? That seems fair and reasonable for all parties.

  • Ivan September 20, 2016 (8:30 am)

    It was exactly for legislation like this that I, and hundreds of other volunteers, knocked on doors and made countless phone calls all over West Seattle to get Lisa elected, and why when she runs for reelection, she will win by a whopping margin.  Secure scheduling makes people’s lives better, period.

  • WSeaKyle September 20, 2016 (10:33 am)

    This is a total joke. It’s not he city’s business to be mandating the internal operations of a business in this way. It will create an administrative nightmare for businesses.   The 500+ criteria is clearly aimed at companies like Starbucks and it should apply to all employers.

    And how will they enforce this? Are they going to fine every business every time some pissed off employee doesn’t get what they want – sorry no – that they have a “RIGHT” to? Society is getting weak.

  • TD September 20, 2016 (3:00 pm)

     Quite possibly there will be unintended consequences, that are going to negatively impact workers. There are plenty of workers who probably need/want/deserve more hours. I used to be one- my first retail job (a long time ago) I made under $6 an hour and worked 2 other jobs for 2 years until I got enough hours to get by. I also transitioned to a manger at some point, responsible for writing schedules for people like me.

    The only way to actually give employees flexibility is to have enough to cover all the needs of the business AND the employees.

    The requirement of “access to additional hours” before adding new employees is ridiculous.

     I had a lot of employees I hired that helped with accommodating the numerous requests of employees. Folks that were ok working 10 hours some weeks, and working 30+ other weeks.

    Will retail still be able to hire those employees??? If not, it necessitates  most existing employees will  HAVE to work more hours.

    You want a schedule that allows time for school? Nope, not enough staff for someone to come in and cover those shifts- no more 6-10 pm schedules, I now need you there 3-10 because I don’t have enough random people to cover the afternoon shifts. I HAVE to give the available hours to existing employees first.

    You want time off?  Maybe. Maybe I have enough other employees to cover. Maybe not. Maybe that person I would have hired to work 10 hours a week, with the occasional bump to 25+ can’t be hired because I have to give all those “available” hours to existing staff.

     You need to care for your child during inventory week? (which usually falls during a slow time, not during the exemption for seasonal staff) – sorry, you need find other child care options, because I have fewer staff and now it’s all hands on deck to get the job done.

     Oh, you can’t accommodate the burden of additional hours? Ok, I’ll find a way to get rid of you so I can hire someone who is MORE of a slave to the business. They will get their incredibly full schedules a full 2 weeks in advance.

    AND for all of you shoppers who want some semblance of decent customer service, dust off your patience factor. If I screw up and overschedule 2 weeks of the month, the big, evil corporation is NOT going to let me cut shifts and then pay the half-time wages required. No way. They will just have me over-reduce staffing 2 weeks out to make up the deficit, regardless of how busy it might be. Who cares if shoppers in Seattle have to wait to get service- it will be the same all over town.

    I’m guessing in a couple of years we will see this law repealed because it will end up actually being bad for the workforce.   


  • KT September 21, 2016 (9:54 am)

    How many workers in Seattle does this cover?  I bet no one knows.   Businesses are only covered if they have 500+ employees (and 40 locations for full-service restaurants)

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