Changes to Scheduling for Seattle “On-Call” Workers

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Following in the footsteps of San Francisco,  the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a “secure scheduling” law to regulate how large retailers and food-service employers schedule their workers. As we advised last month, the new law will apply to large retailers and fast-food, coffee and drinking establishments with 500 or more employees worldwide, as well as full-service restaurants with 500 or more employees and 40 full-service locations worldwide, and it will protect hourly, nonexempt employees who work at least half of their hours within Seattle city limits. Effective July 1, 2017, covered large employers will have many new requirements under the new law, including but not limited to:

  • Provide employees with 14 days’ advance notice of schedules;
  • Offer employees the right to rest a minimum of 10 hours between shifts;
  • Honor employees’ right to decline any shift not on the posted schedule; and
  • Pay employees 1 hour of “predictability pay” for changes to the schedule after its been posted.

There will be a fine of $500+ per violation and the city’s Office of Labor Standards will be responsible for enforcement. Mayor Murray is expected to sign the legislation in the next week, making Seattle the second major city to pass such a law. For more information about this new law, be sure to come to our upcoming Fall Employment Law Breakfast on Tuesday, November 15.


About the Authors

Lauren Parris Watts

Lauren Parris Watts’ practice focuses on representing and advising individual clients and small to medium-sized business clients in risk management, contractual matters, employment and general tort litigation. She counsels clients on a variety of issues, including compensation and severance agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation restrictions, disability accommodations, FMLA and other leave rights and misconduct investigations. She also represents her clients in lawsuits alleging wrongful termination, sexual harassment, retaliation and discrimination.

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