Seattle lawmakers are considering a new law that aims to protect employees that have erratic schedules that change weekly. The new law will be required for companies in the retail and fast-food sector that employ more than 500 people.
The companies will need to provide employees in Seattle 14 hours of advanced notice for their schedules to allow employees to make any arrangements necessary for their upcoming schedule.
The law will also require employers to offer more hours to employees before hiring new workers. The law is an effort to help part-time workers receive more hours from the same employer before seeking a second or third job in some cases.
Seattle’s new law is one of the first in the United States and follows San Francisco’s example. San Francisco passed a similar law directed at the retail sector.
The main points of the law were outlined on Monday by the Seattle City Council. The Council released the points as the city’s Mayor Ed Murray announced that the measures allow employees in these sectors access to reliable schedules that meet their financial and life needs.
Seattle is a progressive city that adopted the $15 minimum wage law before many other metro areas. “Seattle will once again lead the conversation,” stated Murray.
The law has a high chance of being signed into law. Many of the same council members that signed the minimum wage law into effect are still in their position. Two of the new members of the council, M. Lorena Gonzalez and Lisa Herbold, both are spearheading the law along with the Mayor’s office.
The city’s Chamber of Commerce has stated that a one-size-fits-all approach may cause problems for employees.
Some employees in the restaurant industry have also cautioned against the law in fear that the flexible hours that they currently enjoy will be taken away following the new law.