retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports that there is a proposal on the table in Seattle that would legislate how retail and foodservice businesses deal with hourly employees, "including requiring them to schedule shifts two weeks in advance and compensate workers for some last-minute changes."

The story says that "the mayor, city officials and labor-backed groups are targeting erratic schedules and fluctuating hours they say make it difficult for people to juggle child care, school or other jobs, to count on stable income or to plan for the future.

"Seattle's 'secure scheduling' proposal also would require retail and fast-food companies with 500 employees globally to compensate workers with 'predictability pay' when they're scheduled but don't get called into work or are sent home early; provide a minimum 10 hours rest between open and closing shifts; and offer hours to existing employees before hiring new staff."

The AP goes on to note that "it's the latest push by a city that has led the nation in mandating worker benefits. Seattle was among the first to phase in a $15 hourly minimum wage, mandate sick leave for many companies and offer paid parental leave for city workers."
KC's View:
For me, this new proposal is definitely a bridge too far, and if Seattle goes there, it runs the risk of undoing a lot of the economic growth that it has experienced.

Such rules don't just undermine any ability for a retailer to have any flexibility, but it also actually hurts the employees who want to be more flexible because it gives them a differential advantage. It actually sounds like if someone were to cal in sick, the business would be financially penalized for calling someone else in to replace them. How does this make sense?

This is just nuts, and is way too intrusive.