The Evaluation of Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance: Baseline Report

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Research Brief

In September 2016, Seattle adopted a Secure Scheduling Ordinance (SSO), making Seattle an early adopter of guidelines for employer scheduling of employees designed to promote work hour and income predictability. The ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2017. The Secure Scheduling Ordinance (SSO) calls for a baseline study, as well as impact evaluations in the first and second years after implementation. The City of Seattle’s Office of City Auditor (OCA) has contracted with a team of academic researchers to conduct these evaluations for both workers and employers. The Secure Scheduling research team includes national experts on labor standards, employer practices, and the conditions of work, coordinated by a local team at the University of Washington’s West Coast Poverty Center. More information about the research team and team member biographies are available in Appendix A.

Baseline research activities sought to understand and document employers’ practices and workers’ experiences with respect to scheduling, as well as both groups’ awareness of the SSO heading into implementation. Between March and June 2017, the research team collected baseline data from more than 700 workers at firms in Seattle that are covered by the Ordinance as well as from 52 frontline managers– who were responsible for scheduling more than 2,700 employees – at covered firms.

Looking forward, the Years 1 and 2 impact evaluations will investigate how employer scheduling practices change after SSO implementation; the costs and other challenges as well as supports for employer implementation across diverse, covered industries; and the effects of implementation on workers’ schedules, economic stability, health, and well-being.

The current report presents results of an examination of baseline scheduling conditions. It is organized in three sections:

  • this executive summary, providing a brief overview of key findings and next steps for the research;
  • a report from the employee experience component of the baseline evaluation, and
  • a report from the employer practices component of the baseline evaluation.