Seattle may be the next municipality to propose a predictable scheduling ordinance requiring employers to provide advanced notice of work schedules and compensation in the event schedules are changed. The Seattle City Council’s Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee recently initiated regular meetings to discuss the issue of “Secure Scheduling,” and confirmed plans to continue discussions over the next several months to further develop the proposed ordinance. The Mayor’s office is also pursuing its own inquiry into this issue.

As previously reported on the Hunton Employment and Labor blog, thus far, San Francisco’s Fair Scheduling and Treatment of Formula Retail Ordinance, which took effect under new rules on March 1, 2016, remains the only predictable scheduling law that has been enacted. Similar legislation has been introduced elsewhere, however, and the trend is expected to continue. At the state level, predictable scheduling bills have been introduced and are pending in at least eight states (at various levels of activity), including California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Oregon. At the local level, Washington DC’s city council is considering passage of the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act, and held a public hearing in January 2016 regarding it.

San Francisco’s Fair Scheduling and Treatment of Formula Retail Employees Ordinance was passed on November 25, 2014; first became operative on July 3, 2015; and became effective under new rules on March 1, 2016. This ordinance applies to “Formula Retail Establishments” (i.e., chain stores) with at least at least 40 formula retail establishments worldwide and 20 or more employees in San Francisco, including their janitorial and security contractors. The San Francisco Ordinance requires: (1) employers to provide employees with their schedules two weeks in advance; (2) pay predictability of one to four hours of pay in the event changes are made with less than seven days’ notice; and (3) pay premiums of two to four hours of pay for “on call” shifts when the employee is not called in, including requirements established by the Hours and Retention Protections for Formula Retail Employees Ordinance which was passed at the same time.

Retail employers should continue to monitor this growing trend, and review scheduling practices with experienced counsel as necessary.