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Seattle to ramp up discussions on 'predictable scheduling'

Seattle City Hall
Flickr Photo/Daniel X. O'Neil (CC-BY-NC-ND)/
Seattle City Hall

Seattle leaders are pushing for a new level of worker's rights, on top of the city's $15 minimum wage law. The next proposal: predictable scheduling. The City Council will discuss the topic next week and vote on the legislation later in September.

Seattle's predictable scheduling proposal would require large businesses, like Starbucks, to post staff schedules two weeks in advance. Employers would have to pay penalties if they change worker schedules last minute.

It would also prohibit "clopening" (a closing shift followed by an opening) unless the employee explicitly agrees to it and earns 1.5 pay for that time.

The Washington Retail Association is opposing the plan. So are some Seattle business owners, like Subway franchisee David Jones.

Jones: "Honestly, two week schedules is not a problem for an employer. The issue [is that for] the employees to get a two week schedule... they have to request stuff off three to four weeks in advance. Most of our employees don't know what's going on in their lives three or four weeks in advance."

Jones said that problem could force employers to do last minute scheduling anyway.

Meanwhile, local Starbucks and REI employees have asked the city to pass the legislation. Labor groups have also testified in support.

Seattle would be the second city, next to San Francisco, to adopt secure scheduling laws.