How Can Businesses Prepare

Oregon’s proposed “predictive scheduling law” is currently at the epicenter of the workers’ rights movement. The goal of this is to allow workers to have a more stable and predictable work schedule. The law is currently being considered by the Senate Committee on the Workforce and co-sponsored by 22 state senators and representatives. This movement comes as a ripple effect after the Seattle City Council unanimously adopted new employee scheduling laws last year, which will be put into effect this upcoming July. This means businesses that operate in retail, food services, or drinking environments will have to adhere to the new employee scheduling rules based on “secure scheduling” legislation. Furthermore, there is a sentiment out there that these employee scheduling laws will be applicable in other industries.

The momentum of this movement is already under way. The result is approximately a dozen states and municipalities, like New York City and the state of New Jersey, have considered similar legislation. Even on a federal level, the Department of Labor is also looking into some of the laws enacted by Seattle, San Francisco, and potentially Oregon.

What it means for the Employee

Really, what this is all about is providing a sense of predictability of employee scheduling. For instance, employers will have to give their employees two weeks’ notice of work schedules, and pay employees a minimum of four hours of wages for any shift that is cancelled or changed under short notice. But what’s really the driver in causing a union-like legislative movement?

  • Many businesses don’t need a consistent amount of workers on a daily & weekly basis
  • Many businesses’ employee schedules have variances based on seasonality, market conditions, or internal financial reasons
  • Businesses have workers that are on-call with almost no schedule or no assurance of shifts

The result is employees have an unpredictable schedule that can affect their personal lives. Additionally, workers may not get enough rest time between closing and opening shifts, and it may also be difficult to forecast their potential incomes. Also, it makes it hard for employees to plan for school and other jobs.

What It Means for the Employer

This worker/employee friendly movement can present difficult obstacles to overcome for many employers in the hospitality, event, venue, and security industries due to large influxes of part time employees, high employee turnover rates, and ever-changing demands of customers. For instance, think about a team like the Miami Heat of the NBA. They lost the 8th seed to make the playoffs due the Chicago Bulls winning their last game of the season – this all happened three days before the playoffs were set to start. This means the scheduling needs wouldn’t have been anticipated promptly enough to be able to meet this new legislation. As a result, this would present a great cost to these businesses if these laws go into effect.

The Solution

Businesses need to find a solution that both meet the demands of their customers, as well as their employees. The ordinances starting in San Francisco, then in Seattle, are making it inherent that businesses have to make sure that scheduling has to be more employee friendly than employer friendly. How businesses can ensure they not only adhere to these new regulations, but plan ahead for it is through a rules based scheduling solution. There is software that allows an organization to automate scheduling many weeks in advance, provide notifications that warn or prevent employers that they are breaking a rule, in this case legislation. As a result, employers can provide the predictability the employees need, and prevent harsh costs that coincide with these new employee scheduling regulations.

To learn more about how to plan and prevent these new regulations from affecting your business, please contact us.