You are in charge of scheduling your employees, so you know how complicated it can get. With time off requests, conflicts of interest, and sick employees to take into consideration, you’re constantly juggling people around to keep your business well-staffed and running well.
Now the question becomes, how fair is your scheduling? Are you acting in accordance with the law?
Most businesses would answer yes to that question, but with the latest laws passed by California lawmakers, your company might not be practicing fair scheduling.
The Fair Scheduling Act
In February, California state lawmakers introduced a law called the “Fair Scheduling Act,” Assembly Bill 357. This law stated that food and retail employers must schedule their employees at least two weeks in advance and avoid making any last-minute staffing changes. If not, they could face penalties.
Why It Was Created
The bill is only meant for food and retail employers with over 500 employees. There is a noticeable trend in these industries and among companies of this size of “just-in-time” scheduling where employers schedule teams at the last minute to reduce excess labor costs.
Work conditions suffer as a result of this standard practice. According to State lawmakers, this practice isn’t fair to the employees because it creates uncertainty in paychecks, as well as balance between multiple jobs, childcare, and transportation. For employees trying to go back to school, this type of scheduling makes it difficult to study and work at the same time.
California has the largest percentage of hourly workers. That’s something that lawmakers want to change.
One democratic lawmaker, David Chiu, said, “Without fair and predictable work schedules, more and more Californians, particularly part-time and low-wage workers, are struggling to plan for basic life necessities…” The goal of this new law is to position California as a leader in the nation in terms of economic equality.
How This Impacts Your Business
Chiu used to serve on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors where he introduced a similar law for companies with 20 employees or more. This bill goes into effect in July.
For small businesses, the idea of not being able to manage a schedule on-the-go is alarming. What happens when someone calls in sick? What happens when several people need a day off at the last minute?
Although the penalties for the Fair Scheduling Act have yet to be determined, one thing is certain – businesses are on edge and paying closer attention to their scheduling practices than ever before. What would happen to your business if this type of law was introduced in your state?
Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.