Panel Paper: Evaluating Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance: Effects on Work Schedule Predictability and Stability in the Retail and Food Service Industries

Saturday, November 10, 2018
8209 - Lobby Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Daniel Schneider1, Kristen Harknett2 and Veronique Irwin1, (1)University of California, Berkeley, (2)University of California, San Francisco

By many measures, work has become more precarious over the past several decades and job quality has also become more polarized with jobs in industries such as retail and food service characterized by low pay, few benefits, and unstable and unpredictable work schedules. These aspects of job quality may negatively affect the wellbeing of workers and their families. Cities and States across the country have sought to address this problem by “raising the floor,” and legislating improved job conditions. In 2016, Seattle became one of the first large U.S. cities to pass “fair workweek” scheduling legislation. Seattle’s Secure Schedule Ordinance, which went into effect in July 2017, aims to increase the predictability and stability of work schedules for workers employed in the retail and food service industries. In particular, this legislation requires that workers receive at least two weeks’ advanced notice of work schedules, stipulates that workers receive extra pay when their schedules are changed on shorter notice or when they have to work consecutive closing and opening shifts, and provides access to more hours for part-time workers. To evaluate the impact of the Secure Scheduling Ordinance, the Shift Project collected baseline survey data from around 700 Seattle workers in Spring 2017, just before the ordinance took effect, and is currently collecting one-year follow-up data from Seattle workers who are now covered by the provisions of the Secure Scheduling Ordinance. Baseline and one-year follow-up data are also being collected from comparison samples of workers employed by the same companies but in other geographic locations. The Secure Scheduling worker evaluation will harness these data using a difference in differences research design to assess the impacts of the Secure Scheduling Ordinance on the stability and predictability of workers’ schedules. This paper will present these evaluation results, and provide new evidence on the difference that the groundbreaking Seattle ordinance made for retail and food service workers in Seattle. We plan to present estimates of the effects of the ordinance on amount of advance notice of work schedules, on-call shifts, last-minute shift changes, consecutive closing and opening shifts, and involuntary part-time employment. We will estimate these effects as the difference between baseline and follow-up schedule outcomes in Seattle minus the difference between baseline and follow-up schedule outcomes in matched comparison samples.