As Chicago Considers Restrictive Scheduling, Washington State Legislature says, “No!”

(CHICAGO – March 26, 2019) – As the Chicago City Council considers a devasting restrictive scheduling ordinance, the Washington State Legislature has said NO to a statewide Restrictive Scheduling proposal that would have imposed rigid scheduling requirements on Washington workers and employers. 

Despite Seattle being one of the first cities in the country to pass a Restrictive Scheduling ordinance in 2016, Washington state legislators recently rejected the statewide proposal.  They viewed Restrictive Scheduling practices to be fiscally irresponsible, discouraging to small business growth and could negatively impact workers.

In an op-ed in the Seattle Times opposing the Washington legislation, full-service worker and co-founder of the Full Service Workers Alliance of Seattle, Simone Barron, noted many employees build their schedules to create strong work-life balances.  Restrictive Scheduling would hurt her ability to work the way she wants and lead to financial losses for her and her family.

“Restrictions on how I pick up extra shifts, work a double shift or work the close-open shift will no longer be allowed without my employer being penalized,” Barron wrote.  “This barrier will create financial losses, too.  I will be unable to work large events or parties if they occur outside my regular work schedule.  This will directly impact my ability to earn a living and provide for my family.”

Workers in Washington are not alone.

The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board has called Restrictive Scheduling “a boneheaded proposal” and “misguided,” calling on City Council members to “put this ordinance where it belongs: in the trash can.”

Members of the Work Your Way coalition are calling on the Chicago City Council to follow suit and reject a similar Restrictive Scheduling ordinance.

A poll released on February 14, 2019 by the Work Your Way coalition shows an overwhelming majority of hourly workers in Chicago making $50,000 or less annually are satisfied with their current work schedules and believe employees and employers – not the Chicago City Council – should be the ones to make changes to scheduling practices in the city.

The proposed Chicago ordinance goes even further than the one passed in Seattle and proposed in Washington; unlike Washington, where the law only affects parts of the restaurant industry, if passed, Chicago would become the only city in the country that penalizes employers who offer flexible scheduling options to employees, in every industry, who make less than $50,000.

“Progressive states like Washington rejected Restrictive Scheduling because it is bad for employers, bad for employees and bad for growth.  The Chicago City Council should do the same and put city workers and businesses first,” said the Work Your Way Coalition.

About Chicago’s Restrictive Scheduling Ordinance

Tens of thousands of Chicagoans depend on flexibility in their schedules - especially when unforeseen issues arise such as illnesses, childcare, school programs, snow storms/weather-related incidents and other unplanned issues.  If restrictive scheduling passes, Chicago will become the only city in the country penalizing employers in every industry who offer flexible scheduling options to their employees making $50,000 or less.


Every employee and every business encounters a certain amount of unpredictability. Flexible scheduling options are a necessity for Chicago workers and employers when setting schedules and addressing unplanned issues.

Even more, many employees in Chicago seek out jobs because they provide flexibility in scheduling options. The Restrictive Scheduling ordinance being considered by the City Council places this flexibility at risk. Taking this flexibility away is bad for employers, employees and Chicago.


The restrictive scheduling ordinance:

  • Locks employees into rigid schedules that can’t accommodate last-minute school or family obligations, illnesses, or even extreme weather, without at least two-weeks notice.
  • Discourages – even penalizing – employers who work with their employees who voluntarily want to trade shifts or pick up additional hours with less than two-weeks advance notice.
  • Severely limits employees’ ability to swap or trade shifts with their coworkers.
  • Prevents employees from picking up extra shifts to maximize their take-home pay.
  • Prohibits employees from stacking consecutive shifts to maximize their time off or accommodate those who can only work a few days each week.
  • Establishes a new set of roadblocks that discourages small businesses from hiring more workers and growing their business.
  • Places Chicago at a competitive disadvantage for growth compared to Indiana, Wisconsin and neighboring communities.

About the Work Your Way Coalition

Work Your Way is a coalition of Chicago employees, employers and organizations working together to save flexible scheduling options in Chicago and educate elected officials about the negative impacts of restrictive scheduling proposals.  The coalition has more than 35 members representing Chicago’s diversity and was established initially as a joint initiative of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Health and Hospital Association, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, Illinois Restaurant Association and Illinois Retail Merchants Association. It.  You can learn more at