Emily works in sales at a large upscale clothing chain in Seattle, and has struggled with hours that fluctuated wildly but never added up to enough to pay the bills. Since the city’s secure scheduling law took effect, she started getting 30 hours a week, and two weeks’ notice of her schedule so she can plan her life. Check out Emily’s story, then answer a few questions about your own work scheduleand help us show that unstable & unpredictable schedules don’t stop at the Seattle city limits.
When I first started my retail sales job in April 2016, my hours were fluctuating a lot. Some weeks I would work four hours, and other weeks I’d work 25. It all depended on the season and my managers’ needs. Everyone in the store was scheduled for part-time hours except the managers. That was just the way they did things.
It was really difficult to survive with that kind of work schedule — I was always asking my manager for more hours, asking if I could be put on the schedule more, asking if I could get a full 8-hour shift — and their response was always “no.”We only got about five days’ notice of our work schedules, so it was hard to plan our lives out. I couldn’t depend on stable pay at my job, and I couldn’t get a second job because I never knew when I’d be working. I was in school too, and between my classes and my fluctuating hours, I needed help just to get by.
When I heard about the new secure scheduling ordinance in Seattle, I was really excited. It was finally a chance to get a set schedule and some consistency.
After the law went into effect in July, our managers sat down with each of us one on one and created a schedule based on our personal schedules outside of work.
Some people had other full-time jobs, so they were scheduled on the weekends.
A couple other people were offered at least 25 hours/week.
And for me and a couple other coworkers, it meant moving up to full-time hours. One of my coworkers had been working three different jobs before secure scheduling, and afterwards she was finally able to get a steady 40-hour schedule, so she was able to quit her other two jobs, which was a huge relief for her…”