Oregon Passes Fair Work Week Legislation

Oregon made national news yesterday as the first state to pass legislation requiring employers to provide greater schedule predictability to low-wage employees in the retail, food service, and hospitality industries. The bill applies to employers with at least 500 employees worldwide.

The bill (SB 828) attempts to address issues that arise with irregular and unpredictable scheduling. One in six Oregonians receive less than 24-hour notice of their job shifts. Employers will now be required to post work schedules 7 days in advance that include all work shifts and on-call shifts for the work period. If the employer wants to change the schedule after the advance posting, the employee may decline any work shifts not included in the written schedule.

An employer that changes an employee’s work schedule after posting the work schedule will be required to compensate an employee up to one-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay for each hour the employee was scheduled to work, but does not work. Employees who are on the “voluntary standby list” do not need to be compensated for this shift change. The voluntary standby list is a list of employees who voluntarily agree to be contacted about additional hours and shifts when an employer needs additional workers.

The bill also includes provisions protecting employees from working back-to-back closing and opening shifts and provides compensation if an employee is scheduled to work two shifts with less than a 10-hour break in between.

The bill prohibits employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees. Employees can file a complaint with BOLI or an ORS 659A.885 civil action.

The bill goes into effect July 1, 2018, with enforcement provisions effective July 1, 2019. The 7-day advance notice increases to 14-day advance notice on July 1, 2020.

New legislation can be difficult for employers to navigate, especially one that drastically changes an employer’s operation. I can help you understand how this new bill will affect your business and assist you in developing best-employment practices to comply with regulations, including supervisor training. Please contact me (Sarah Ewing) at sewing@sbhlegal.com or 503-512-3116.