Predictive Scheduling Laws are Good for Employees
Chicago’s predictive scheduling ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2020. Chicago was the latest large city to enact such legislation. So far, only one state — Oregon — has a state-wide predictive scheduling statute, but other states — like California and Illinois — are considering enacting this type of protection for all employees.
Fairness and justice for workers are the main ideas behind enacting predictive scheduling laws. These laws require that employers set work schedules for employees far enough in advance so that employees can make arrangements for child care, transportation, healthcare, family obligations, schooling and scheduling shifts at a second job. Last minute shift changes can be disruptive and unfair for workers. Even worse are last-minute cancelations or shortening of shifts which directly deprive an employee of income. Predictive scheduling laws are aimed at preventing these injustices and empowering workers to stabilize their time commitments and finances. Further, predictive scheduling laws require employers to compensate workers for the lost opportunity to work if shift changes are made without sufficient notice.
Chicago’s Fair Workweek Ordinance is a good example of how these laws work. See Fact Sheet here. In brief, the Chicago Ordinance does the following:
- Requires work schedules to be set 10 day before a shift
- Requires employers to schedule shifts for a “calendar week” and provide the schedule to employees
- Provides right to rest — that is, employees have a right to say “no” to shifts that are scheduled less than 10 hours after the end of the previous shift
- Provides right to time-and-a-half if employee says “yes” to shifts that are scheduled less than 10 hours after the end of the previous shift
- Mandates “predictability pay” — equivalent to one hour at the employee’s regular rate of pay — if the schedule is changed with less than 10 days’ notice — a “schedule change” includes canceling the shift but also changing the starting and/or ending time by more than 15 minutes
- Mandates “predictability pay” for each and every shift that is changed
- Mandates additional “predictability pay” if shift is canceled or changed with less than 24 hours notice — employer must pay employee’s regular rate for one-half of the hours in the shift
- Provides employees the right to say “no” to shifts that are added without the 10 day notice — employers are prohibited from any form of retaliation
- Requires employees receive notice of their rights with respect to predictive scheduling
The Chicago ordinance applies to any employer in the following industries:
- Building services
- Warehouse services
There are a few exceptions for small businesses such as those businesses with fewer than 50 employees in Chicago or less than 100 employees total in all locations. The ordinance also does not apply to workers making more than $26 an hour or more than $50,000. Starting in 2022, schedules will be required to be provided with 14 day’s advance notice.
Chicago’s ordinance was based on similar statutes passed in Seattle, New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco. As noted, trends suggest that a wave of predictive scheduling laws will be enacted around the county. This is good for employees.
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