Employers should watch out for “Predictable Scheduling” Laws

Advanced, Predictive Scheduling, or Restrictive Scheduling

Although the movement started out slow with a San Francisco showdown in 2014, the movement for advanced scheduling has gained traction and is inciting discussions among lawmakers across the country. This leave many employers asking the question; “What are advanced scheduling or predictive scheduling laws?”

Advanced Scheduling laws, also called predictive scheduling or nicknamed restrictive scheduling laws refer to ordinances and laws that mandate conditions and penalties on employers scheduling practices.

San Francisco was the first city to implement an advanced scheduling law in 2014. However, the ordinance didn’t take effect until 2016. Seattle and Emeryville both followed suit in 2016 each passing advanced scheduling laws that start July 1, 2017.

After 1 year of implementation, employers and employees both are seeing the real-life implications of the new law.

San Francisco Implements Predictable Scheduling, which results in a Disaster

As the first city to pass an advanced scheduling ordinance, San Francisco’s predictable scheduling ordinance has already started to demonstrate some of the issues created by a one-size-fits all model for employer scheduling.

According to the San Francisco ordinance, employers pay a hefty penalty of 2-4 hours of additional pay to employees who are called into work on a short term notice.

This meant that when unexpected warm weather hit the city last year, that retailers couldn’t call in extra staff to help with increased foot traffic.

One grocery store employee explained; “Supplies weren’t able to get out to the shelves. It just kind of snowballed and our customers had a bad experience. . “

Part time employees who often desire flexibility are finding that they have lost one of the greatest benefits they needed.

The Washington Post reports that “some workers grumble that the law discourages employers from offering extra shifts on short notice. . .even if workers would be happy for the chance to pick up more hours.”

Carlos Solórzano, the CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce explains that “In the end employees lose flexibility, hours and income.”

A recent study found that the restrictive scheduling laws of San Francisco have caused that 35% of employers are less flexible with employee schedules. 21% of businesses are offering fewer part time shifts and 17% are offering fewer jobs across the board.

This means that students, teenagers, and the poor have fewer opportunities to get into the job market or work while pursuing higher education or training.

Overview of Typical Advanced Scheduling Rules

With 3 local ordinances passed and another 13 similar laws being debated across the country, employers need to be aware of the aspects of the laws.

  1. Full time access to part time workers: If an employer has additional hours come up, they must first offer those hours to part time employees. This includes the restriction on offering temporary or seasonal work to temporary employees.
  2. Employers must post schedules a minimum of 2 weeks in advance. Any changes within a 2 week window will result in the employee being paid an additional 2-4 hours of pay.
  3. Requires an additional 2-4 hours of pay when employees are on call or if a shift is cancelled within 24 hours of the shift starting.
  4. Equal treatment for part time workers: Requires employers to offer the same proportional benefits to part time employees that full time employees get. This includes equal hourly pay, paid time off, sick leave, and promotional opportunities.
  5. Job security: Requires a 90 day security window when a company is acquired, merges, or is bought or sold. Employees cannot be laid off for at least 90 days.

Employers Should Prepare and be Actively Involved Locally

Business owners, managers and HR personnel should actively follow the local employment law being debated. Ohio  businesses got a reprieve from local advanced scheduling laws with SB 331, which was passed in December, 2016. Other states have passed preemptive laws banning local predictable scheduling laws, but others are considering. Washington D.C tabled a bill last year that would have required advanced scheduling. Currently other states such aw New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York and Arizona are considering similar bills.

Additionally, employers should consider some of the comprehensive tools offered by SwipeClock for advanced employee scheduling, timekeeping and workforce management. These tools help to decrease the bottom line and to better predict scheduling needs, while maintaining compliance with local employment laws. For more information, see our www.swipeclock.com.

Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated May 5, 2017

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