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Seattle secure scheduling law moves to full council vote

Seattle is one step away from adding worker scheduling rules to its workplace laws. A City Council committee unanimously approved secure scheduling legislation Tuesday, forwarding it to a full council vote next Monday.

The measure would require employers to post worker schedules at least two weeks in advance. It would also give workers more control over how many hours they work.

It's become known as Seattle's next labor fight, after the $15 minimum wage. The measure is 50 pages long, ensuring employers have little room to interpret it.

Workers from Starbucks and REI have been especially vocal in supporting the legislation. Dozens of workers, including Sarah Cherin, testified at Tuesday’s meeting about why they want secure scheduling laws. Cherin works for local union UFCW 21 and said it's time workers had predictable schedules.

Cherin: "Big picture is that because of unpredictable hours, workers can't depend on a stable week-to-week pay. Imagine that uncertainty: not knowing what your salary will be, from week to week, because you were not given a guarantee of hours. Think of the things this makes harder: paying rent, buying food, child care."

Some businesses and groups are opposing the measure, including Costco, Starbucks and the Washington Retail Association. They say it's burdensome for employers and would make it harder on workers if they want to change their schedule.

If the City Council approves the legislation, Seattle would be the second city after San Francisco to pass predictable scheduling laws.