In recent years the Seattle City Council has done a lot of damage to the city’s small businesses — from mandated paid sick leave, to restrictions on criminal background checks when hiring, and, of course, raising the minimum wage to $15 over the next few years.
Now the far-lefties who make up the Council are at it again. This time councilmembers are considering a proposal that would, essentially, restrict how many people businesses can hire, when they can schedule employees to work without paying a penalty, and the length of notice businesses give them. Via the Washington Policy Center:
“The regulations under consideration would require employers to give workers two or three weeks advance notice of scheduled shifts with extra pay for shifts with less notice, guarantee shifts are scheduled at least 11 hours apart, guarantee existing employees have the opportunity to work any extra hours before additional part-time employees are hired and mandate workers be paid a minimum of four hours for any shift.”
Howard Behar, the former president of Starbucks International, isn’t happy about the direction his city is heading. He purchased a full-page ad — in the form of a letter that publicly rebukes city officials — in The Seattle Times to express his displeasure.
Behar has called it a “solution in search of a problem.” And, that couldn’t be more accurate. The Washington Policy Center:
“Behar makes the point that regulations restricting how employers schedule workers will make it more difficult to hire part-time workers and workers with few skills, teens from underserved communities and minorities will suffer the greatest impact. In other words, the people who need those jobs the most.”
Behar’s letter hit the nail on the head when it comes to Seattle’s special interests-driven agenda and the city’s extreme tendency to bend to the will of the labor unions that provide them campaign cash. Behar:
“Seattle’s city government sees business as nothing more than a necessary evil… Seattle has become an incubator for misguided labor policies that threaten employers, entrepreneurs and employees who want and are trying to do the right thing…
“Our city government is becoming corrupted by the same forces [labor unions] and is pursuing an agenda to reward their own favorite special interests [labor unions].”
Just to be clear, Behar is not a conservative. As the Washington Policy Center points out, Behar has a “well-established resume on progressive causes and describes himself as a ‘pragmatic progressive.’”
The fact that a self-described “pragmatic progressive” is incensed by the Seattle City Council’s latest proposal goes to show just how far left the city’s elected officials have gone.