Seattle, following San Francisco, has become the second major US city to approve new regulations for the scheduling of retail and food-service employees.
Last year, San Francisco passed a landmark piece of legislation known as the San Francisco Workers’ Bill of Rights. The bill was created with the following goals in mind:
- Promotion of full-time work and access to hours;
- Encouragement of fair and predictable scheduling practices;
- Discouragement of abusive scheduling practices;
- The equal treatment of part-time workers; and
- Encouragement of worker retention and job security.
The new regulation passed in Seattle follows similar themes, and is expected to go into effect on July 1, 2017. Under this new law, employers will be required to provides schedules and work hour estimates to their employees two weeks in advance (at penalty of additional compensation). They will also be required to provide overtime compensation for shifts beginning less than 10 hours after the end of the previous shift.
As a result of this new regulation, many employers will need to change their practices significantly in order to provide sufficient notice of upcoming schedules, track changes and compliance with the premium payments, and post notices and schedules as required by the new law. In many cases, this may require investment in new technology for time & attendance and scheduling to facilitate and automate the new requirements.
This new investment in tools and technology will also provide employers with the opportunity to modernize how they communicate critical work detail to employees by taking a mobile-first approach. Given the early traction in Seattle and San Francisco, retailers and other large employers of hourly workers nation-wide may want to look into their ability to handle similar legislation. Those who are able to able to adapt quickly and effectively will gain an edge in the market.