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National Restaurant Association - Scheduling bill would damage D.C. jobs

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Scheduling bill would damage D.C. jobs

Local lawmakers in Washington, D.C. could change the way restaurant and retail chains hire new employees if they vote to approve a mandate restricting flexibility of work schedules.

The D.C. City Council’s Business Committee approved the measure by a slim margin of 3-2 June 23, and it could go to the full council for a vote next month.

The mandate, if passed, would force many restaurant chains and retail stores to offer part-time employees more hours before they could hire new employees. It also would require them to publish work schedules three weeks in advance, and provide "predictability pay" when certain employee schedules change.

“Employers and businesses alike lose under oppressive scheduling mandates,” said Cicely Simpson, the National Restaurant Association’s executive vice president of government affairs and policy. “Employees lose flexibility and small business owners lose the opportunity to grow, expand and create jobs. At a time of unprecedented growth in jobs and opportunity in the District, bills like this one threaten to set us back.”

In the District, 55 percent of businesses say the mandate would be difficult to comply with, and half of businesses affected said they would have to cut jobs if it passes. Furthermore, more than two-thirds of surveyed business owners agree the area is becoming less friendly for business.

If the council ultimately approves the measure, the District would become the second city after San Francisco with a scheduling mandate for restaurants and retailers. Seattle also is considering one.

A new website, KeepDCOpen, explains how the proposal would hurt hiring practices.

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