Many of us are familiar with the lyrics of Dolly Parton: “Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’…” A predictable work schedule, however, is not so universal in the retail and food services businesses. For many employers in these industries, work schedules are often issued on short notice as a result of fluctuating customer demands. Laws that require more predictability in scheduling, according to employee advocates, promote economic equality by allowing employees to have more stability in planning budgets and arranging for child care, schooling and a second job. A recent ordinance passed in Seattle, which goes into effect July 1, 2017, aims to balance these two interests by establishing secure scheduling requirements for covered retail and food-service establishments.
The ordinance covers retail and food services establishments (defined broadly to include, for example, caterers, mobile food services, bars, limited-service restaurants, cafeterias, buffets, and snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars) that employ 500 or more employees worldwide. For full-service restaurants, there must also be at least 40 locations worldwide. Continue Reading