Seattle City Council Passes Secure Scheduling Ordinance With Sweeping Implications for Employers in the Food Service and Retail Industries

Legal Alert

On Monday, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a “Secure Scheduling Ordinance,” set to take effect in July 2017, that will place substantial limitations on covered employers’ ability to flexibly schedule workers.

  • Which employers are covered?
    • Retail employers and large limited or quick food service employers with 500 or more employees worldwide; and
    • Full-service restaurants with 500 or more employees and 40 or more locations worldwide.
  • Which employees are covered?
    • Hourly, non-exempt employees who work at least 50% of the time within the City of Seattle.
  • What are employers required to do?
    • Provide a good faith estimate -- at the time of hire, annually thereafter, and anytime there is a significant scheduling change -- of employees’ work schedules.
    • Allow employees the opportunity to provide input into their work schedules and engage in an interactive process to discuss any such request, including engaging in an interactive process to discuss any significant changes to employees’ schedules.
    • Provide employees with at least 14 days’ advance notice of their work schedules (“Posted Schedule”).
    • Provide timely notice to employees of any changes to the Posted Schedule.
    • Pay an extra hour of pay at regular rate (in addition to wages earned) for:
      • any addition of hours or shifts not on the Posted Schedule; or
      • any change from the Posted Schedule to start or end time of a shift that does not result in a loss of hours.
    • Pay half the regular rate of pay for the length or remainder of the employee’s shift for:
      • any subtraction of hours from a shift after the employee has reported for work;
      • any change from the Posted Schedule to the start or end time of a shift that results in a loss of hours;
      • any cancellation of a shift that was on the Posted Schedule; or
      • any on-call shift for which the employee does not report to work.
    • Pay 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for:
      • any hours worked on shifts that are fewer than 10 hours apart (which can only be worked if the employee consents to do so).
    • Offer hours of additional work to existing employees before hiring new employees.
  • What are employers prohibited from doing?
    Employers cannot:
    • Deny an employee’s scheduling request related to the employee’s serious health condition, caregiving, education, or other job responsibilities absent a bona fide business reason for doing so.
    • Require employees to find replacements to cover their scheduled shifts when they are unable to work.
    • Schedule employees for shifts separated by fewer than 10 hours (other than split shifts) without the employee’s consent.

Click here to read more about the history of this decision and follow our World of Employment blog for updates on this topic and many others.

Labor & Employment partner Karin Jones is available to answer any questions you may have about how this change may impact your workforce, or feel free to contact your Stoel Rives relationship attorney.

Related Professionals

Related Practices & Industries


Media Contact

Jamie Moss (newsPRos)
Media Relations
w. 201.493.1027 c. 201.788.0142

Mac Borkgren
Senior Manager, Marketing Communications & Operations

Jump to Page
Stay Informed Arrow

Subscribe to Our Updates