Attention Seattle Food Service and Retail Employers: City Council Passes Secure Scheduling Ordinance


On September 19, 2016, Seattle became the second city in the nation (after San Francisco) to pass a “Secure Scheduling Ordinance” with broad implications for the food service and retail industries within Seattle’s city limits.  Scheduled to take effect in July 2017, the Ordinance will place substantial limitations on covered employers’ ability to flexibly schedule workers.  Among other requirements, employers must take employee scheduling input into consideration, provide advance notice of work schedules, provide additional pay for last-minute schedule changes, and offer hours to existing employees before hiring new staff.  For a detailed summary of the Ordinance’s requirements and prohibitions, see our previous article on the subject, here.

As clarification on the requirements for payment stemming from schedule changes, the Ordinance provides that employers must:

  • Pay an extra hour of pay at regular rate (in addition to wages earned) for:
    • any addition of hours or shifts not on the Posted Schedule; or
    • any change from the Posted Schedule to start or end time of a shift that does not result in a loss of hours.
  • Pay half the regular rate of pay for the length or remainder of the employee’s shift for:
    • any subtraction of hours from a shift after the employee has reported for work;
    • any change from the Posted Schedule to the start or end time of a shift that results in a loss of hours;
    • any cancellation of a shift that was on the Posted Schedule; or
    • any on-call shift for which the employee does not report to work.
  • Pay 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for:
    • any hours worked on shifts that are less than 10 hours apart (which can only be worked if the employee consents to do so).

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