After unanimous approval Tuesday by five committee members, a “secure scheduling” law heads for the nine-member council. The measure would make Seattle one of the first U.S. cities with sweeping rules governing how retail and food-service employers schedule their workers.

Share story

The Seattle City Council is expected to decide Monday whether to pass a “secure scheduling” law that would make Seattle one of the first cities in the country with sweeping rules governing how retail and food-service employers schedule their workers.

The council committee that’s been working on the issue for several months approved an amended bill Tuesday, setting the stage for next week’s vote.

Passage by the full council is likely: Five of Seattle’s nine council members were at the committee meeting Tuesday and all voted in favor of it. (Those were Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, M. Lorena González, Mike O’Brien, Kshama Sawant and Tim Burgess.)

Backers say the law will protect employees from erratic and variable work schedules and from not getting enough work hours.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks

It would apply to large retailers and quick-serve food and drink establishments with 500 or more workers, and to full-service restaurants with both 500 or more employees and 40 or more locations.

Employers would be required to post work schedules two weeks in advance, give available hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new workers, and pay additional “predictability pay” when employers make changes to the posted schedule.

The proposed law also requires employers to keep records for three years, documenting everything from employers’ responses to employee requests for schedule changes, to good-faith estimates of the number of hours an employee could expect to work.

Unionized workers could negotiate an alternative for secure scheduling through collective bargaining.

Labor groups, which have pushed for the law, have spoken out heavily in favor of it. Retail and business groups have been largely against it.

The bill goes before the full council at its regular 2 p.m. meeting Monday. The meeting will be live­streamed at www.seattle.gov/council/watch-council-live