In December 2022, the City of Berkeley passed the Fair Workweek Employment Standards Ordinance. The ordinance will become operative on January 12, 2024.

The Berkeley ordinance is similar to the City of Los Angeles’s Fair Work Week Ordinance which took effect April 1, 2023,and other local ordinances regarding how employees are scheduled and the flexibility of scheduling provided to employees.

Covered Employers and Covered Employees

The ordinance applies to any employer in the City of Berkeley with 10 or more employees in the city that is:

  • primarily engaged in the building services, healthcare, hotel, manufacturing, retail, or warehouse services industries, and employs 56 or more employees globally; or
  • primarily engaged in the restaurant industry, and employs 100 or more employees globally; or
  • a franchisee primarily engaged in the retail or restaurant industries and is associated with a network of franchises with franchisees employing in the aggregate 100 or more employees globally; or
  •  a not-for-profit corporation organized under Section 501 of the United States Internal Revenue Code in the industries specified under subsection (a)(1), (2), and (3) and employs 100 or more employees globally.

The ordinance applies to non-exempt employees who perform at least two hours of work within Berkeley for a covered employer.

Obligations of Covered Employers

The ordinance includes several obligations for covered employers pertaining to scheduling, including the following:

  • Provide each employee with a good faith estimate in writing of the employee’s work schedule. The employee may submit a written request to modify the estimated work schedule.  A covered employer, in its sole discretion, may accept or reject the employee’s request.  The covered employer is required to notify the employee of the covered employer’s determination in writing prior to or on the commencement of employment.
  • Provide employees with at least two weeks’ notice of their work schedules by doing one of the following:
    • Posting the work schedule in a conspicuous place at the workplace that is readily accessible and visible to all employees; or
    • Transmitting the work schedule by electronic means, so long as all employees are given access to the electronic schedule at the workplace.
  • Provide employees with predictability pay for scheduling changes under certain circumstances.
  • Provide new employees with an initial work schedule prior to or on their first day of employment. Thereafter, the covered employer shall include the new employee in an existing schedule with other employees.
  • Provide an employee written notice of any change to the employee’s posted or transmitted work schedule within 24 hours of a schedule change. This notice requirement shall not apply to any schedule changes the employee initiates.

If you have questions about the Berkeley ordinance or related issues, contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.

Photo of Cepideh Roufougar Cepideh Roufougar

Cepideh Roufougar is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Roufougar is Co-Leader of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. She advises and counsels management in all areas of labor and employment law, with a focus…

Cepideh Roufougar is a Principal in the San Francisco, California, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Ms. Roufougar is Co-Leader of the California Advice and Counsel Resource Group. She advises and counsels management in all areas of labor and employment law, with a focus on identifying practical solutions to help ensure compliance with state and federal law. Ms. Roufougar positions herself as a strategic partner when providing advice and counsel about litigation avoidance, employee management issues, implementing disciplinary actions, and collective bargaining issues. Her ability to see the big picture clearly and understand her client’s businesses in emotionally charged and highly complex disputes has helped her clients financially and prevented litigation. Her clients rely on her to guide them through both short-term and long-term planning to achieve their unique goals and strategies.

Ms. Roufougar is an experienced trainer and presents seminars on a wide range of subjects, including: leave management and reasonable accommodations; preventing discrimination, harassment and retaliation; implementing and sustaining disciplinary actions; conducting defensible workplace investigations; first-line supervisor trainings; performance management/evaluations; and wage and hour issues.

Ms. Roufougar has been successful in helping her clients prevail in numerous arbitrations and administrative appeals. She has extensive experience representing employers in labor and employment disputes. She has defended employers in employment litigation matters, including claims alleging violations of the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act, FLSA collective actions, and claims of harassment and discrimination. Ms. Roufougar also conducts complex workplace investigations.

Before joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Roufougar practiced at a well-regarded local labor and employment firm and served as in-house counsel for a local public agency.