Foodservice Equipment Reports

Work Scheduling Proposal Draws Fire In Washington

The NRA is pushing back against a new scheduling proposal in Washington, D.C., that it says could reduce job growth for the District’s restaurant industry.

The Hours and Scheduling Stability Act of 2015 pending in the district’s City Council would apply to restaurant chains with 20 or more stores and retail operations of at least five locations. The bill requires employers to:

  • Post work schedules 21 days in advance and pay employees for up to four hours if the schedule changes.


  •  Create a revised written schedule within 24 hours when changes are made.


  •  Maintain recordkeeping of every shift for three years.


  •   Offer available work to already employed, qualified staff before hiring new employees or subcontractors.


The mandate would force restaurants to make fundamental changes to hiring practices, said Mike Whatley, the NRA’s director of state and local government affairs. Testifying before the Council’s Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Whatley said, “Those changes could result in fewer people being hired to work at restaurants in the District and operators understaffing their restaurants.”

A similar mandate in San Francisco resulted in what Whatley called “extreme confusion” among affected restaurant operators. The San Francisco ordinance originally passed in 2014, but took effect last July. Confusion about the ordinance centered on its requirement of extensive paperwork documenting workers’ time records to ensure they match posted schedules exactly.

The DC bill would require businesses to post employee schedules three weeks in advance, compared with two weeks in San Francisco.

Whatley, who testified along with representatives for the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and the Buffalo Wild Wings chain, urged city council members to wait for the results in San Francisco before moving forward in the District.

The bill is one of several scheduling mandates currently under consideration in state and local legislatures. A similar bill is also pending in Congress.

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