Predictive Scheduling Law Signed in New York; Could New Jersey be Next?
June 6, 2017
Isaac Graff, Esq., Ty Hyderally Esq. and Chantal Guerriero
On March 3, 2017, New York City became the latest major city to pass Predictive Scheduling legislation. (Int. No. 1396-2016). The Bill, passed by the New York City Council’s Committee on Civil Service and Labor, will implement predictive scheduling for fast food employees. It will require employers to post schedules at least two weeks in advance, and to pay a premium if the schedule changes with less than two weeks’ notice. The bill also creates a private right of action for employees in order for them to enforce their rights. These requirements will afford employees more job security, and the ability to better plan their personal lives, ahead of time, around their work schedules.
Predictive scheduling laws prohibit employers from utilizing on-call scheduling. When employees are put on-call, they are typically required to wait until one to two hours before their tentative shift begins to verify whether they will have to report to work. While on-call scheduling helps keep costs down for businesses that deal with a fluctuating customer-base, employees are left on standby and unable to rely on a consistent amount of income.
The trend towards predictive scheduling, particularly in the service industry, has been gaining momentum, and New Jersey lawmakers have introduced similar legislation that is pending approval. (NJ A1117). Under the pending “New Jersey Schedules That Work Act,” employees would be able to adjust (1) the number of hours they work, (2) the period of their work hours or shifts, (3) where they work, (4) the amount of notice they receive from their employers regarding their work schedules, and (5) the number of hours they are scheduled to work on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Employers would be required to respond to such requests by engaging in a timely, good-faith interactive discussion with their employees. This discussion includes an assessment of potential schedule changes that would meet the employee’s needs.
In addition, if an employee’s request relates to their (1) serious health condition, (2) responsibilities as a caregiver, (3) career-related educational or training program, or (4) part-time job, then the employer would be required to grant the request unless it had a neutral business reason for denying the request.
Along with the schedule protections that the bills would offer, they also would require employers to offer a minimum of four hours of pay for certain retail, food service, or cleaning employees when such employees would end up working fewer hours than originally assigned. The bills would also require employers to provide at least one hour of pay to certain on-call or split-shift employees. Additionally, for new hires, employers would need to provide monthly written notification of their work schedules and the minimum number of expected work hours, as well as two weeks’ notice of any schedule changes. Employers would also owe their employees an extra hour of pay to those who receive late notice of certain shift changes.
Although the Bill has yet to pass, as the trend towards predictive scheduling gains popularity throughout the United States, New Jersey employees may soon reap the benefits of predictive scheduling legislation.
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