Are "Livable Schedules" Coming to Seattle?

Date: March 15, 2016 Last Edit: March 17, 2016

New ordinances could shift power away from employers and create a host of new regulations for businesses in the city.

Are “Livable Schedules” Coming to Seattle?

Right after the city passed a $15 minimum wage, business owners are once again facing mounting burdens as the Seattle City Council drafts a city ordinance that would enforce “livable schedules.”

The ordinance shifts power away from the employer and to the employee when it comes to scheduling and pay, putting undo pressure on businesses already burdened by high wages and regulations.

“It’s unfortunate that the city of Seattle seems hell-bent on these one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter approaches to wages and hour issues,” NFIB/Washington State Director Patrick Connor told Good Day Spokane. “I think this is going to be one more straw that may soon break the camel’s back.”

  • Provisions under the ordinance include:Workers get at least 11 hours of downtime between shifts.
  • Employees receive their schedules a week in advance or be paid time-and-a-half for added shifts in that time frame.
  • Employers pay for a few hours of work performed if shifts are taken away.

Aimed at helping workers and preventing “clopenings”—where an employee closes and then is required to open—the regulations are just one more example of how Seattle is pushing its businesses to the very brink of closure or layoffs.

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