Why Does Seattle Hate The Unskilled?

The Seattle city council, in its infinite Know Better wisdom, has passed what it’s pleased to call a “secure scheduling” ordinance.  This is an ordinance that requires “certain” employers

to tell their workers two weeks in advance which shifts they will be working.

Should an employee be called in for extra hours, say, to replace a sick co-worker, the employer will have to pay him added “predictability pay.” Should an employee be sent home early—maybe because business is slow or a delivery is late—the employer must compensate him for half the hours he was scheduled to work.

And, if you can believe it,

[O]n-call staff will earn half pay for shifts when they are not called into work, while those employees that have less than 10 hours between two shifts will receive time and a half. Managers will also be required to offer any additional hours to current employees before taking on new hires.

Never mind some well-known actual facts.

In response to Seattle’s recently passed minimum wage law that will quickly raise the minimum to $15/hr, a University of Washington study released last summer

found that the mandated wage increase has led to fewer hours worked per-employee and slightly less overall employment for Seattle’s lowest-paid workers, compared to similar earners in other parts of the state.

And last spring the San Francisco Chronicle reported that in response to San Francisco’s “secure scheduling” ordinance,

1 in 5 surveyed businesses had cut back on the number of part-time hires, and a similar number were scheduling fewer employees per shift[.]

Of course, the worthies on Seattle’s city council know these things—the histories are much too recent for them not to know—hence the question in my title.

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