The Seattle Secure Scheduling Ordinance will take effect on July 1, 2017. With less than two weeks to go, Lane Powell has been fielding questions from our clients on some of the nuances regarding implementation of the new law. Below are answers to the most pressing questions so that your organization is prepared to comply:

1. How can I determine whether our company is a covered employer under the Secure Scheduling Ordinance?

  • The ordinance covers food or retail establishments who employ 500 or more employees worldwide
  • Full service restaurants must also have at least 40 full-service restaurants
  • Food service establishments are covered if identified by NAICS Code 722
  • Retail establishments are covered if identified within the range of NAICS Code 441 through 453998
  • Check the NAICS code on the City of Seattle’s business license database

2. When are covered employers responsible for providing the good faith estimate for new employees?

  • At the time of hire
  • The good faith estimate must be provided at the time of hire for employees hired on or after July 1, 2017
  • The Seattle Office of Labor Standards (OLS) has updated its Notice of Employment Information designed to comply with the Seattle Wage Theft Ordinance so that it can be used to provide the good faith estimate: Updated Notice of Employment Template

3. When are covered employers responsible for providing the good faith estimate for current employees?

  • According to the OLS, within 90 days of the July 1 effective date (September 28, 2017)
  • The good faith estimate must be provided no later than September 28th to employees who were hired before July 1, 2017
  • The updated Notice of Employment Information template has a check-box at the top for existing employees as well as a check-box to indicate any change of employment: Updated Notice of Employment Template

4. When are covered employers responsible for providing 14 days’ advance notice of work schedules?

  • When the law becomes effective on July 1, 2017
  • Beginning after July 1st, covered employers will be responsible for providing 14 days’ advance notice of work schedules for the next schedule that permits such notice

5. Will there be a grace period before covered employers are required to provide pay for schedule changes?

  • Yes, there will be a 15-minute grace period
  • Covered employers must pay covered employees for each instance of adding or subtracting hours when there is a schedule change of more than 15 minutes
  • The 15 minutes can be an addition or subtraction of hours or before or after the shift

6. Will covered employers be required to pay for schedule changes that occur on or after July 1, 2017, but before providing 14 days’ advance notice of work schedule?

  • No, covered employers will only be required to pay for employer-initiated schedule changes that happen after providing the 14 days’ advance notice

7. How will OLS begin enforcing the Secure Scheduling Ordinance?

  • OLS will begin enforcement with a soft launch from July 1st through December 31st
  • OLS has stated that it will work with covered employers to implement the required policies and procedures for the ordinance
  • During this soft launch period, OLS will accept complaints and pursue remedies owed to employees
  • OLS has stated that it will not impose penalties or fines during this period unless a covered employer has egregiously violated the ordinance (for example, by retaliating against an employee)