Retailers urge defeat of expected statewide scheduling bill

Jan 17, 2019
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Written by Washington Retail
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Washington Retail will soon be asking members to contact their legislators to oppose an expected bill that would mandate scheduling requirements on retailers across the state. Washington Retail Association has made attempts to offer a compromise that would allow for some concessions on scheduling that would benefit employees and employers.

It does not appear these concessions will be in the final bill.

Preliminary drafts of the bill show that it will be modeled after a controversial Seattle ordinance that requires larger retailers to post schedules at least two weeks in advance. The law removes the flexibility that employees currently have in changing their schedules based on last-minute needs. Seattle’s law is so burdensome that many employers may refuse changes in the work schedule within the 14 days for fear of penalties.

Employers struggle in Seattle to meet the communication and recordkeeping requirements that  reduce opportunities for employees to increase hours when they want because the interactive process between the employer and the employee is restricted.

WR opposed the Seattle law because it includes fines for retailers who need to adjust schedules to meet demands for service. The Seattle law also eliminates flexibility for employees who need to adjust schedules to meet personal needs outside of work. The law has further caused many emergency roadside services to discontinue and has been a challenge to car washes, tire dealers and other retail services that must adjust to changes in the weather.

A WR “call to action” will be sent to members by email soon after a bill is introduced. To learn how to contact your Senator or Representative, type in your address at https://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/, then click on their names to obtain their phone numbers.

You can also dial the toll-free Legislative Hotline, 1-800-562-6000 to communicate your thoughts and concerns to your legislators.