In August, Seattle proposed a new law that would protect workers from erratic schedules, but one local retail giant is opposed to the legislation: Costco. The company, which is highly praised for its employee treatment, says the law would place an undue burden on companies while offering little benefit to workers – Costco workers, that is.
The shopping club retailer is highly regarded as an employer, offering entry-level pay rates that often far exceed minimum wage. In fact, the company recently boosted its starting wages to $13.50, up $1.50. On average, Costco employees are paid $22 per hour.
In addition to higher wages, the company also guarantees 40 hours per week to full-time employees and 24 hours per week to part-time workers. All schedules are posted two weeks in advance, and all employees are offered healthcare benefits. Costco says it strives to maintain an even balance of part-time and full-time workers.
But when it comes to Seattle’s proposed scheduling law, Patrick Callans, senior VP of human resources, says “the proposed Seattle ordinance would impose an administrative burden on employers without providing much benefit to employees – at least to Costco employees.”
The new law, championed by city Councilmembers M. Lorena Gonzalez and Lisa Herbold and city mayor Ed Murray, would require employers to post schedules at least two weeks in advance and additional compensation for last-minute schedule changes. Current employees must also be offered additional hours before hiring new workers.
The law would apply to workers in retail, fast food and coffee and drink establishments with at least 500 employees. Full-service restaurants with at least 500 employees and 40 locations would also be governed by the law.
Costco isn’t the first company to speak out against the law. Several other companies, including JC Penny, home Depot, Petco and Starbucks have all expressed their opposition to the legislation. Many say the laws would give employees less flexibility and reduce work hours.