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Seattle's 'Secure Scheduling' Law Puts Businesses at Risk


The article, “Seattle's 'Secure Scheduling' Law Puts Businesses at Risk,” featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal, highlighted the “secure scheduling” ordinance in Seattle and discussed the significant impact on business operations the law will have, if passed.

Catharine Morisset said,"This law is designed to guard against the totally terrible employer abuser, but there is not protections in here against the totally terrible employee abuser.”

"It is a law that is going to give employees a lot of push back about when they want to work with serious consequences if the employer doesn't do what they need to do," she said, "with very little obligation on the employee's part."

Catharine said that after reading the ordinance, she was left with the impression that it is "absolutely a pro-employee law."

But, she said, what the ordinance really does is removes all flexibility from scheduling and uses such broad language in defining things such as a "major life event," that it leaves businesses open to being sued by employees for not making every shift change they desire.

"There is an assumption that flexible scheduling is always terrible," she said, explaining that many restaurant employees prefer to work a closing shift Saturday and the brunch shift Sunday to earn more money.

Under the proposed law, employees can request to work the closing/opening shifts, but they must be paid time-and-a-half for any hours that have them working within the mandatory 10-hours-off window.

"(The city) said they listened to the business side of this," she said. "But I'm left wondering."

To read the full article, please visit Puget Sound Business Journal.


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