The Seattle Restrictive Scheduling Threat
Executive Letters to Mayor Murray
A letter from Jon Bridge to the Mayor
Mayor Ed Murray,
I’m very concerned about legislation regarding predictive scheduling – – just adding one more layer of regulations that we have to sort out in our many existing jurisdictions. It makes for a massive bureaucratic burden on our HR department. In our company, there has never been a concern about scheduling as our manual and company policy require that schedules be posted at least two weeks in advance. Nevertheless, emergency substitutions due to accidents and illnesses have an impact on our business as there are limited numbers of associates in each of our store locations. We never require our associates to substitute outside their schedules, but they may be asked to fill in during emergencies. The question under legislation arises as to how a voluntary ask might be interpreted. Any legislation really requires thinking about these possibilities and the added burden tracking and record keeping might entail.
I am also very concerned about the effect on Seattle businesses as compared with those in surrounding areas. Making it harder to operate in the city will only encourage us to close some of our operations. As a matter of fact, we are planning on closing one of our outlets in the city at the end of the year. The store’s profitability because of the added city regulations has made operation outside the city limits more attractive.
Please take time to analyze the effect of this additional piece of legislation – – one that I feel is unnecessary and complex.
Ben Bridge Jeweler, Inc.
A letter from Best Buy to the Mayor
August 16, 2016
Hon. Ed Murray & Members of the Seattle City Council
PO Box 34025
Seattle, WA 98124
Re: Secure Scheduling Council Bill
Dear Mayor Murray, Seattle City Council Members:
On behalf of Best Buy and our Seattle operations, I am writing to express concerns about the proposed restrictive scheduling legislation that will greatly impact the ability of our employees to coordinate schedules that work for them.
As background, Best Buy currently operates a big box store and mobile store located at Northgate Mall, employing over one-hundred part-time, full-time, and seasonal employees. In addition, last year we opened our first Technology Development Center in the City of Seattle supporting our eCommerce operations. We are proud of these investments and the jobs we have created in the City.
This legislation, as written, will limit an employer’s ability to make scheduling changes less than 14 days in advance of a work shift without incurring heavy financial penalties. This represents an unrealistic expectation for the retail industry, as schedule changes are often times outside an employer’s control. Our store managers have a strong relationship with their employees, and will publish schedules in advance; however, there will always be internal and external factors that are beyond the control of an employer. Creating a one-size-fits-all penalty that fails to factor unforeseen schedule changes will place a tremendous burden on our employees to effectively manage store operations.
We continually survey our employees to gauge their satisfaction with scheduling and workforce issues, and thus far have found that they are very satisfied with both a secure AND flexible scheduling arrangement. This bill will create an unworkable standard that limits employee and employer flexibility, even when the employee desires flexibility such as swapping shifts with other employees, picking-up extra hours, etc.
Best Buy shares policymakers’ goals of ensuring flexibility in the workforce and finding a balance that benefits employees and employers; and we thank you for your consideration of our views. We look forward to a productive conversation in addressing scheduling in Seattle, and in continuing to build upon our successful operations. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or Robert Kearley, Senior Manager of Government Affairs, at 202-379-6721 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
District Manager, Seattle Market