After the $15 minimum wage law has passed, the City Council now wants to give workers the power over how they are paid and scheduled. According to the Council, some workers feel abused and measures must be taken.
The new rules that are still in the process of writing suggest 11 hours of down time that will be guaranteed to workers between shifts. The Council also wants to propose a requirement for employers to provide workers with schedules a week in advance. If the schedule is not provided, the workers would be paid time-and-a-half for the week they have not got the schedules in time. They also suggest a requirement they workers are paid for a few hours of works for the shifts if those are taken away by the employer.
Just as the $15 minimum wage law, there is a great opposition against the new rules coming from the business community who call the proposed measures “restrictive scheduling”.
So-called “clopenings” are used by many businesses in Seattle, including Starbucks who rely on their workers to close the shift and then show up in the morning and open the next one. It is especially useful when an employee calls in and says he can’t come for his shift. In Starbucks they say it helps balance predictability with flexibility.
The restrictive scheduling has also got support from some big name companies, such as J. Crew and Victoria’s Secret who received a warning letter from New York attorney general informing them that on-call shifts violate New York state law.
But some public policy experts believe that such measures can have downside effects. The business might get more expensive for many companies which will lead them to looking for ways to work with fewer employees.
Despite all the controversy and possible consequences, the City Council is expected to pass the ordinance later in 2016.