Active Learning: Your Quick How-To Guide

Predictive Scheduling Laws: A Complete Guide

It’s been a long day. You’re tired. You want to finish your late-night shift, lock up and head home to catch up on some much-needed sleep.

But what happens when you’re still expected to open up the next day?

Or worse still, your shift manager calls you out of the blue to run an unscheduled shift?

This is known as “clopening” in retail circles. “Clopening” entails scheduling employees to work an evening and morning shift back-to-back with little to no time for rest between shifts.

For so long, “just-in-time” scheduling has been a common human resource practice in the retail and hospitality industries.

This is bad for business because low morale results in poor employee experience. It also leads to poor customer experience.

You want your employees happy, healthy and excited about going to work. And while there, you want them engaged and effectively carrying out their tasks.

Predictive Scheduling Laws may just be what your business needs to kick clopening out the window!

But what exactly are they? Before you enact them, here is your complete guide on Predictive Scheduling Laws.

Predictive Scheduling Laws: What Are They?

Scheduling laws came onto the scene in the U.S in 2014. Vermont and San Francisco passed laws that gave employees within their jurisdiction the freedom to request more flexible work arrangements.

SeaTac, Washington also enacted a law that called upon specific employers to provide work opportunities to their existing employees before hiring new ones. On January 1, 2020, alongside other companies, they increased their minimum wage beyond $13.50/hr to $16.34/hr.

The Retail Workers’ Bill of Rights, San Francisco, came into effect in 2015 and provided redress for flexible schedules, early notice of schedule changes, premiums for schedule changes and requirements to provide work opportunities for existing employees first.

Oregon specifically enacted a particularly strong predictive scheduling law in 2017 which wasn’t enforceable until January 2018. It required employers to give employees a reliable, “good faith” estimate of their work schedule when hired and required them to have the work schedules written seven days in advance.

In 2020, employers are expected to provide employee schedules at least 14 days in advance and to pay workers a fee if the schedule was changed on short notice. One hour of extra pay should be added to an employee’s paycheck when:

  • 30 minutes or more are added to an employee’s schedule without informing them.
  • Changes are made to the work schedule without loss of hours worked.
  • Extra shifts are added to the schedule without previous communication.
  • There are on-call shifts that an employee is not called upon to work.

Scheduling laws are now officially present in Oregon, Washington D.C., and seven cities including Berkeley, San Jose, San Francisco, Emeryville, Seattle, SeaTac, and New York City.

Unpredictable scheduling may be detrimental to employees’ health. An Economic Policy Institute report revealed that 26% of employees with inconsistent and on-call schedules encounter numerous work-family conflicts resulting in higher stress levels at work. Consequently, this has an adverse impact on performance and productivity.

Predictable Scheduling and Fair Workweek Laws: What You Need to Know

The provisions may vary depending on the jurisdiction, but some of the common themes are:

  1. Providing advance notice of schedules. Some states expect employers to provide employee schedules within a stipulated timeframe, anywhere from three to 14 days in advance. In some of these cities, any shifts that are altered or canceled with less than 72 hours’ notice require the employee to be paid a premium.
  2. Flexible work arrangements. This prompts employers and employees to engage in conversations about temporary or permanent schedule changes. Employees may also have the freedom to put in requests for schedule preferences.
  3. Fair allocation of hours. It’s common to expect managers to provide their existing employees with work opportunities before hiring new ones. They are also expected to provide a transparent, impartial approach to assigning work or hours, such as based on seniority. World Manager’s world-class Event Scheduler is the perfect tool for this.
  4. Providing reasonable rest periods. Many scheduling laws include a provision for a minimum amount of rest time between shifts so employees can recover before their next shift. These laws may also require the employer to provide extra pay in the event that employees work during their rest periods. This is a  great solution for burnout and clopening.

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Non-Compliance Costs

Failure to adhere to scheduling laws can be particularly costly for employers. They could be at risk of hefty financial penalties.

Employees can also file civil actions for damages that attract extra legal fees. Aside from fines, burnout leads to lower employee productivity and absenteeism.

Stay on track by applying these tips:

  • Review and track scheduling laws. Stay informed on new laws that impact your employees using a matrix system. It’s easier for you to compare and contrast business training and technology requirements.
  • Conduct regular policy reviews. Review policies in your jurisdiction and implement relevant ones. Are there premium pay requirements that can be avoided?
  • Training management. Does your management staff fully understand the scheduling laws and resulting ramifications due to non-compliance? When running a franchise, it’s especially important to ensure all your managers are well-informed of the applicable laws within their state. World Manager’s Franchise Compliance Tracker will do just the trick!
  • Automate scheduling. Structure automated reminders for managers to pay premium payments incurred for some shifts.
  • Document scheduling. An employee may ask for a schedule change or put in a request for extra working hours. These records should be available on your company’s franchise LMS platform. Ensure you have a proper recordkeeping policy.

Here are some essential scheduling tools:

Next Steps

While legislation provides a reprieve for employees in various cities, employers must remain compliant with scheduling practices. They should also put in place wellness practices that enhance the employee experience.

What better way to build this compliance into your corporate culture than to get more managers involved in the onboarding process?

Use a learning management system that you can trust like World Manager. Develop modules suited for your managers in an effective online training program.

To determine your online training program, set up a meeting with an expert from the best LMS service provider.

When you book a demo with World Manager, you’re guaranteed a smooth process:

  1. The World Manager team starts you off with a 5-10-minute call where you gauge whether their product is a perfect fit for your business. Upon mutual agreement, you can go a step further and schedule a 30-minute video call for an in-depth consultation.
  2. The 30-minute session should give you a better understanding of an LMS, its purpose and why you need it for your business.
  3. If you’re still interested, a one-hour face-to-face video call should help you create a customized plan. Use the different World Manager products to cater to your specific business needs.

Save yourself the hassle of setting up physical workshops for your managers. Get your training going with the best LMS platform on the market. Book a demo today.

Disclaimer: This information is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor World Manager will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this information.

The best companies use World Manager to train staff, maintain standards, and set the company up on the road to success.