Business owners that operate in the retail, food services, and hospitality industries have 7 months to prepare for Oregon’s predictive scheduling regulations.
While municipalities throughout the country have passed city ordinances, Oregon is the first state to adopt predictive scheduling requirements. With the signing of Senate Bill 828, employers state-wide must prepare for the substantial changes that are soon to take effect.
What Businesses Are Affected?
The new law will impact employers with 500 or more employees worldwide and counts subsidiaries and their parent companies as a single employer. This broad definition ensures that the largest number of employers will be impacted by the changes and, furthering this goal, the hospitality industry includes casino operators.
What Does The Law Require?
Most of the bill’s provisions are activated on July 1, 2018, but some regulations will become more burdensome at a later date. For example, employers will be initially obligated to provide at least 7 days of advance notice of workshifts to an employee. By 2020, however, business will be forced to give employees 14 days of advance notice. For every schedule change made within this one (and eventually two) week window, employers are obligated to pay employees one hour worth of wages to the employee in question. For employees working in a state with one of the highest minimum wages in the country, this could become a bounty–for employers this could become a dangerous burden.
Employers are encouraged to avoid scheduling employees within a 10 hour “rest period” of their last shift, and employers that choose to schedule employees during this period must pay them 1.5 times their regular rate of pay. Businesses must also receive written and voluntary consent in order to schedule employees in this manner.
Like many other predictive scheduling laws, the Oregon legislation requires employers to provide a good-faith estimate of the number of hours an employee can expect to work in a given period. In this case, that period is one month. Employers must also explain their voluntary on-call list procedures and cover the employee’s tentative work schedule. This estimate must be given to all new employees at the time they are hired.
Unlike some other examples, the Oregon version of predictive scheduling does provide employers with some leeway in the area of on-call shift. Businesses can ask employees if they would like to be on a “voluntary standby list” and if an employee consents, the employer is exempt from a number of potential scheduling penalties. Additionally, employees hired to fulfill an administrative position such as a secretary are exempt from the requirements.
Fines And Remediation
Employers are subject to penalties for every violation of the law’s provisions and record-keeping is an important part of compliance. Oversight is handled by the Commissioner of Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries who has the discretionary authority to levy fines up to $1,000 per violation.
How Employers Should Prepare
It’s imperative that employers covered by this legislation begin to prepare now. They should begin by updating their hiring policies and retrain staff associated with human resources and payroll. Additionally, it would be prudent to begin drafting the necessary good faith estimate templates as well as policies guiding their standby list. Most importantly, employers should reconsider their approach to documenting and recording work schedules. The most convenient and efficient method of doing so would be to use a tool like Deputy. With Deputy, employers would be able to manage their standby list, update their employees’ schedules, and have an electronic record of every important interaction and payroll disbursement.
Predictive scheduling is no small matter to adjust to, but if you prepare now and partner with the right employee management system, you can make the transition as seamless as possible.
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