Predictive Scheduling: What is it and Why Should I Pay Attention?

By Kelsey Basten

Published on August 3, 2017

In 2017, we have seen an increase in predictive scheduling ordinances around the country. These ordinances have affected mostly retail and restaurant employers, but may move into other industries, as well. Below is an explanation of what predictive scheduling is and why you should pay attention to it. 

What is Predictive Scheduling?

Essentially, predictive scheduling requires employers to provide employees their work schedules ahead of time. This puts a stop to on-call scheduling, where employers place employees “on-call,” requiring them to call in shortly before their work shift starts to see if they need to report to work that day.

On-call scheduling was first introduced as a way for businesses to handle fluctuations in customer flow associated with retailers. Due to these fluctuations, labor costs were unpredictable as well, making it difficult for employers to accurately budget labor.

Why Should I Pay Attention?

Large cities have started to ban on-call scheduling and adopt predictive scheduling legislation.

For example, the New York City Council signed a bill May 24, 2017, banning retail employers in the city from utilizing on-call scheduling.

Also, San Francisco City Council passed a predictive scheduling law in January 2015 that requires all retail employers to pay employees for cancelled on-call shifts and provide notice to employees of their biweekly schedules.

We are seeing this shift from on-call scheduling to predictive scheduling for a few reasons:

  1. Employees are not able to accurately predict or count on their income because of the uncertain number of work hours
  2. The lack of set-in-stone work scheduling limits their everyday activities, such as holding a second job, attending school and more.

The following states have pending legislation on predictive scheduling, as of May 31, 2017:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island

Keep following GovDocs Labor Law News for updates on this subject.

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