Foodservice Equipment Reports

Seattle Gets Hands-On About Work Schedules

The labor force is getting legal force on its side in Seattle. New scheduling rules for hourly retail and foodservice workers are going into effect after the City Council unanimously approved a new law September 19 requiring employers to schedule shifts 14 days in advance and pay workers extra for certain last-minute scheduling changes.

Seattle, which follows San Francisco as the second major U.S. city to pass such scheduling legislation, has previously phased in a $15 hourly minimum wage and mandated sick leave for many companies.

The law applies to retail and QSR companies with 500 employees globally and to full-service restaurants with 500 employees and 40 establishments. Violators could be subject to civil fines.

Companies also are required to compensate workers with "predictability pay" when they're scheduled but don't get called into work or are sent home early; set a minimum 10 hours’ rest between open and closing shifts; offer hours to existing employees before hiring new staff; and provide workers with a written good faith estimate of their expected hours.

It exempts companies whose employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement with similar scheduling provisions.

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