July 20, 2017
Scheduling can be one of the most frustrating parts of any manager’s job. As if employee availability, shift trades, last-minute emergencies, illnesses, weather, break and minor work rules, split shifts and reporting time pay weren’t enough factors to consider, many cities have recently started to pass their own employee scheduling laws. Called “fair workweek” or “secure” or “predictable” scheduling rules, they cover several topics, but share the same goal: to provide low-wage employees with more predictable schedules and pay. New York City is the most recent city to enact these rules, but it won’t be the last.
Six U.S. cities have passed scheduling laws as of July 1, 2017: Emeryville, San Francisco, and San Jose, California; New York City, New York; and Seattle and SeaTac, Washington. A proposal was introduced in Chicago, Illinois in late June, and a bill passed the Oregon Senate last week. Pending Governor Kate Brown’s signature, Oregon will be the first U.S. state to pass a statewide scheduling law (sources say she is expected to sign).
Activity on the coasts is often an early indicator of a future trend, as are dead and withdrawn proposals. Congress, 14 states, the District of Columbia, and at least five cities have introduced some form of scheduling legislation since 2015. We believe this number will continue to grow, similar to the proliferation of proposals to increase state and local minimum wages.
Which employees are covered by these laws is often a complex question having a lot to do with your business operations. However, the rules share some common elements:
While each city’s requirement is different, we’ve found quite a few similarities. We expect variations will continue to be common as cities act as laboratories for different approaches.
You can take a few easy steps to reduce the impact the rules will have on your business. Here are our pro-tips: