Jillian Henze, senior communications manager, Washington Hospitality Association,, 360-956-7279
Simone Barron, co-founder, Full Service Workers Alliance,, 206-745-0225

Hospitality employees urge legislators to reject scheduling proposal

OLYMPIA, WASH. (Feb. 15, 2019) – Hospitality employees told legislators “hands off” their work schedules and requested they reject Senate Bill 5717 today at the capitol.

“We value the flexible freedoms that restaurant workers currently enjoy to create their own schedules, whether by working doubles, closing and opening shifts, trading or having the opportunity to pick up private events at a moment’s notice,” said Simone Barron, co-founder of the Full Service Workers Alliance in Seattle. “This flexibility allows workers to earn a livable wage to afford the ever-rising cost of living in Washington state. It is our right to have our personal time and freedom by creating our own schedule.”

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The proposed legislation is more restrictive than Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance and it expands the law to include all Washington state retail, hotel and food service businesses with 100 employees globally. It includes full service restaurants with 100 employees and 40 locations.

The bill lowers the employee threshold from the Seattle ordinance’s 500 employees to 100 employees, meaning significantly more impact, and it punishes local franchise owners by treating them as large operators.

Employees testified against the restrictive scheduling bill, House Bill 1491, on Feb. 5 in Olympia, and employees testified again against the companion bill, Senate Bill 5717, on Feb. 15.

Nine out of 10 restaurant managers start in entry-level positions, according to the National Restaurant Association. Owners and managers are in a unique position to talk about the impact of the scheduling proposal on both sides of the issue.

“My wife and I have worked our tails off for 42 years to make our small family business work, hired thousands of employees and paid hundreds of thousands in taxes to our state,” said John Bagge, member of the Washington Hospitality Association and owner of Twelve Baskets Catering in Kirkland. “We play by the rules and always have. Restrictive scheduling is going way too far. Employees choose catering work because it’s good supplemental income and they love the flexibility and freedom to accommodate family, education, vacations or other work obligations. Because of the unpredictability, short notice and changes within days of catered events, it’s impossible to post schedules two weeks in advance.”

The bill also applies to thousands of small businesses in Washington state and will negatively impact hundreds of thousands of employees in the industry, Barron said.

The Full Service Workers Alliance tried to get a seat at the table to work on the bills before they were submitted and were not included in the drafting process, Barron said.

“For this restrictive scheduling policy, we do not see a path forward and we are urging our legislators to reject the bills,” Barron said.


About the Washington Hospitality Association
Hospitality is the industry that serves. The Washington Hospitality Association delivers wins for the largest group of private employers in the state. The nearly 300,000 jobs the industry provides are the backbone of our state’s economy. The association works at the state and local levels to find proactive solutions to the challenging issues facing the industry and its workforce. It supplies its members with programs, services and information they need to deliver great local experiences, ensure the success of their employees and help their communities thrive. The Washington Hospitality Association became one of the state’s largest trade associations in 2016 when the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association joined forces in a combined association.

About the Full Service Workers Alliance
The Full Service Workers Alliance is a fresh and modern group of advocates that aims to strategically mediate between workers, their employers and local legislators to create and inspire optimal working environments while cultivating our cultures and traditions of the full service industry. The alliance was founded as an advocacy group for full service workers who are passionate about the security of their freedoms, rights and livelihoods. It advocates for the protection of those freedoms and rights of those workers within the front of the house and the back of the house of full service establishments.