San Francisco, Emeryville, and San Jose are three main cities in California that have been a part of the local government trend in setting legislation surrounding employee scheduling. San Francisco enacted the Retail Workers Bill of Rights, which spawned similar legislation in other municipalities. A recent podcast by Littler Workplace Policy Institute (WPI) explored the increasing shift of municipality statutes regulating hiring and scheduling of workers. The WPI pointed out that they primarily focus on federal legislation, but with more states and cities amassing local ordinances in the vein of employment law they provided information exploring workplace laws at the local level.
Common points of relevance across these ordinances include advance notice of upcoming schedules to employees, and how additional hours are distributed to part-time workers, staff members, and employees. Each city’s ordinances are restricted within their city limits, but many questions still loom over these new laws. However, the one thing that remains clear is employment law is gaining traction with municipalities.
Distribution of Additional Hours
San Francisco’s Retail Workers Bill of Rights can be seen as a basis of Emeryville’s and San Jose’s employment legislation. Emeryville’s ordinance 16-007, and San Jose’s Measure E include similar details in regard to how employers are to distribute additional hours in favor of current part-time employees. San Jose’s Measure E is broad and pertains to employers that have 36 or more employees and are subject to business tax. Employers falling into this category must offer additional hours to qualifying part-time employees before they seek outside help from subcontractors, temp agencies, or new hires. Emeryville has a very similar standard for offering additional hours to part-time employees, workers, and staff members, but it only pertains to retail and fast food businesses. Qualifying employers have 56 or more employees globally with 20 or more employees working within Emeryville’s city limits. Like Measure E, Emeryville’s ordinance touches upon distribution of additional hours to part-time workers before turning to outside resources to staff those hours. Employers must offer these additional hours to the appropriate part-time workers 72 hours in advance of the shift. Once this avenue has been exhausted then employers can turn to outside resources.
Emeryville’s Extensive Employment Law
Ordinance 16-007 goes a few steps further for Emeryville’s municipal employment law in regard to employee shift scheduling. The five basic requirements laid out in this ordinance are that employers must give a good faith estimate of hours to employees upon hire of their upcoming schedule, they must also give advance notice of employees’ schedules up to 2 weeks ahead of time, if employers make a change to an employee’s schedule with less than 14 days notice the employee may refuse to work those hours, if the employer makes a change to an employee’s schedule less than 14 days in advance, but more than 24 hours then the employer is required to compensate the employee with predictability pay, and the amount of predictability pay can increase if changes are made to schedules with less than 24 hours notice.
Emeryville’s Fair Workweek Ordinance is effective July 1, 2017. The city’s website states that from July to December 2017 it will have a “soft launch” and will focus on educating businesses and employers. Employees do have the right to operate within the new ordinance standards going forward from July 1. 2017. Employers will not accrue penalties for violations until January 1, 2018 as the “soft launch” period is to assist getting employers in compliance with the new regulations.
Future Employment Law Changes
Eyes must be kept on upcoming changes in employment law. California’s Assembly Bill No. 5, also referred to as the Opportunity to Work Act, is currently parked at the committee level for rest of 2017, but the representatives behind the bill have expressed that they will bring it back up in January of 2018.
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