A Los Angeles predictive scheduling ordinance?
It looks likely. The city council in late November 2022 unanimously approved the Los Angeles Fair Work Week Ordinance.
While it awaits the mayor’s signature for final approval, a Los Angeles predictive scheduling law would have sweeping ramifications for employers in the retail sector. (Los Angeles officials estimate more than 140,000 of city residents work retail jobs.)
A labor law poster requirement is also part of the ordinance, along with notice and recordkeeping obligations.
If passed, it would go into effect April 1, 2023, and apply to retail employers with at least 300 employees globally.
Los Angeles Predictive Scheduling
At a high level, the predictive scheduling law in Los Angeles mirrors many others that have been passed across the country. It is fairly broad, however.
If approved, the Los Angeles predictive scheduling law would require many retail employers to:
- Provide workers with at least 14 days of advance notice of their work schedule
- Pay workers for certain types of schedule changes
- Give employees at least 10 hours of rest between shifts (unless the employee agrees in writing to work without the rest period)
- Provide potential hires with a good faith estimate of the work schedule
- Provide existing employees with a good faith estimate of the work schedule within 10 days of a request
The advance notice of schedules can be posted in a conspicuous place or sent electronically, according to the ordinance as written. But any changes to work schedules — including a location change — must be made in writing, and employees would have the right to decline the request. If an employee accepts the change, it too must be in writing.
Meanwhile, employees would also have the right to request changes to their work schedule. An employer may accept or decline the request, provided that the employer notifies the worker, in writing, of the reason for any denial.
Other notable portions of the Los Angeles predictive scheduling ordinance include:
- Employees have the right to request preference for where and when they work
- Additional hours must be offered to existing employees before hiring new workers
- Employers can’t require employees to find someone to cover their shift if they can’t make it for lawfully protected reasons
Lastly, when an employee has agreed to a change in their work schedule, the employer would have to compensate the worker with one additional hour of pay.
Predictive Scheduling Laws
Do you know what “clopening” is?
It’s when an employee works the closing shift one day and the opening shift the next. And it’s not allowed under certain predictive scheduling laws unless an employee agrees to it.
Predictive scheduling laws have become more common over the past decade, with Oregon being the first state to pass such a measure in 2017. But even before that time, smaller jurisdictions enacted predictive scheduling laws, which can go by other names, such as fair workweek, as is the case in Los Angeles.
A number of major cities have passed fair workweek laws, including:
- New York
- San Francisco
Increasingly, multi-jurisdiction employers must manage the intricacies of predictive scheduling, which is aimed at giving employees more work-life balance and requiring employers to provide work schedules ahead of time (along with other obligations).
Retail employers with locations in Los Angeles should keep an eye out for the mayor’s signature and the potential implementation of the city’s predictive scheduling ordinance.
It is broad in terms of its requirements. And employers may want to review their current scheduling practices to determine how they would need to be updated to align with a predictive scheduling law in Los Angeles.