Los Angeles Continues National Trend with New Fair Workweek Ordinance
Director of Compliance
Effective April 1, 2023, Los Angeles will begin enforcing a new “fair workweek” law, following the lead of other city jurisdictions across the United States, including Berkeley, Calif.; Chicago; Euless, Texas; New York; Oregon; San Francisco; and Seattle.
Fair workweek laws are regulations that make employee scheduling more transparent and are aimed at discouraging abusive and erratic scheduling practices. To prepare for the Los Angeles Fair Work Week Ordinance (LAFWW), there are key points you should know:
The employers covered by the ordinance are retail businesses under the North American Industry Classification System that employ at least 300 persons globally. Workers employed through staffing agencies, and employees of certain subsidiaries and franchises, count toward the 300-employee total. Employees must perform at least two hours of work per week within the geographic boundaries of Los Angeles to be covered by the ordinance.
Good Faith Estimate of Work Schedules
Before hiring an employee, a covered employer must provide a written, good faith estimate of the employee’s work schedule and a notice of rights under the ordinance. If the actual work hours substantially differ from the good faith estimate, the ordinance is violated unless the employer can document a legitimate business reason for the deviation unknown at the time the estimate was given to the employee. Employers must also provide a written, good faith estimate to current employees within 10 days of the employee’s request.
Advance Notice of Work Schedules
Employers must provide work schedules to employees at least 14 calendar days before the first day of the schedule and give the employee written notice of any changes made to the schedule after the advance notice period. This notice may be provided in person, electronically, or by posting the schedule in a conspicuous and accessible location in the workplace. If an employee voluntarily consents to a schedule change made fewer than 14 days before the work period, the consent must be in writing. The employee, however, has a right to decline any schedule deviations in hours, shifts, or work location.
Right to Request Certain Work Schedules
Employees have the right to request certain work hours, times, and work locations. If the employer denies the request, they must do so in writing and state the reason for the denial.
Right to Rest
Employers must give at least 10 hours of rest between shifts unless the employee consents in writing to a shorter period. An employer must pay an employee a time and a half premium for each shift not separated by 10 hours.
Predictability Pay for Work Schedule Changes
“Predictability pay” must be paid to employees when they agree to a change in their schedule. Employees are entitled to one hour of additional pay at their regular rate for each change to their schedule that does not result in a loss of time to the employee or does not result in additional work time exceeding 15 minutes. Workers are entitled to one-half of their regular rate for the time they do not work if the employer reduces their work time by at least 15 minutes. Predictability pay, however, is not mandated under certain circumstances, such as when the employee initiates the schedule change, when the employee voluntarily accepts schedule changes due to another employee’s absence, or when extra hours worked require overtime payment.
Offering Work to Current Employees
Employers must offer additional available work to current employees at least 72 -hours before hiring a new worker, contractor, or temporary employee. Employers need only offer these additional hours to employees qualified to perform the available work.
Coverage for an Absence
Employers are prohibited from requiring an employee to find coverage for shifts or partial shifts the employee cannot work for reasons protected by law. It is the employer’s responsibility to find coverage.
Employers must post a notice informing employees of their rights under the ordinance. Electronic posting is sufficient.
Employers must retain Fair Work Week Ordinance records for current and former employees for at least three years.
Retail businesses with employees in Los Angeles should closely review their scheduling policies and practices to ensure they comply with this new law and ensure their payroll departments understand the potential need to provide predictability pay. Additionally, all employers should be on the lookout for new fair workweek laws being enacted in other parts of the country, as this trend is expected to continue.
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