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City Commissions Localized Study on Worker Scheduling Practices

Councilmembers Lisa Herbold and Lorena González announced today the launch of a study relating to scheduling practices, which will be used to better-inform forthcoming “secure scheduling” legislation. Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Lorena González and the Executive are in conversation about developing legislation to address predictability in worker scheduling, as unpredictable scheduling most strongly impacts low-wage workers who are overwhelmingly women and people of color.

The study will survey both employers and employees from a diverse cross-section of industries and business sizes. Questions will relate to general scheduling practices; effects on employees; number of hours that an employee works compared to the hours that they were hired for; practices when either calling a worker in or sending them home early; and how far in advance shifts are typically scheduled. Most information about Seattle-based scheduling practices to-date has been anecdotal, therefore, the City commissioned the study to better understand any intricacies or variants from practices documented at a national level.

“The national data has shown us that employees’ schedules are erratic, there is a trend toward more part-time employees, and that businesses continue to move to a cost containment model that disproportionally affects women and people of color,” said Councilmember Lisa Herbold, Chair of the Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee (CRUEDA). “My committee has been serving as a forum to bring both business and worker advocates to the table to talk about these complex issues; hopefully this study will result in a greater understanding of how scheduling practices impact workers.”

Councilmember Herbold has hosted several discussions in her committee relating to secure scheduling, and will continue to dedicate committee time to the issue for every future meeting through July. In addition, the CRUEDA committee will be briefed a. on the impacts of the San Francisco secure scheduling legislation and b. national studies on scheduling practices in subsequent meetings.

This City of Seattle commissioned study is being conducted by Vigdor Measurement & Evaluation, LLC. It will be presented to the Council on July 1st.

Jacob Vigdor holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and joined the University of Washington Evans School as a professor of public policy and governance in 2014. He has published dozens of scholarly articles in the areas of housing policy, education policy, and immigration policy, with a specific focus on disparities and inequality by race and ethnicity.

Dr. Vigdor has prepared consultant briefs and reports for a variety of government agencies, non-profit organizations, and for profit firms. He is experienced in litigation consulting, statistical consulting, and economic consulting.

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