Predictive scheduling: What is it and does it apply to my company?

In a nutshell, Oregon’s new law requires certain employers to provide advance schedules for their employees and imposes penalties for last minute changes. SB 828 went into effect on July 1st and BOLI recently issued final rules for the new law, found here.

Does it apply to my company?

The law applies to retail, hospitality and food service establishments that employ 500 or more employees worldwide. This includes chains and – a more tricky concept – integrated enterprises. If your company operations overlap with another corporate entity (think parent, subsidiary, franchisor, general contractor) then take a look at the factors that determine if the companies would be considered an “integrated enterprise.” Those factors include:

  • Interrelation of operations of the entities (shared payroll or check writing services, shared policy manuals, shared office space and equipment);
  • Degree of common management, such as same supervisors, officers, and directors;
  • Centralization of labor relations (shared HR, hiring or screening services, frequency of transfers/promotions across entities, same decision makers); and
  • Degree of common ownership or financial control.

What does the law require?

Predictive scheduling requirements apply to nonexempt employees, not to exempt salaried employees. While its main requirement is advance notice of scheduling, there are additional requirements.

Postings and record retention: BOLI will provide a notice employers must post at their workplaces, and employers are required to maintain records for three years, which includes copies of those posted schedules.

For new hires: Employers must provide a written good faith estimate of the work schedule at the time of hire, expected average hours of work per month, and an explanation of how a voluntary standby list works.

For existing employees: Employers must post work schedules at least seven days in advance (by 2020, this will increase to fourteen days in advance).

Employers who need to change the posted schedule after this timeline must give individual notice of the change without delay – and the employee can decline any additional shifts not included in the posted schedule without repercussions. In addition, the employer must pay the employee an hour of wages for any employer-initiated change that adds work time or changes the scheduled shift without change in work hours; or pay the employee half of what would have otherwise been earned for any employer-initiated reductions in scheduled work time.

Employers can create a voluntary standby list for short term fluctuations in needs. Employees cannot be coerced to join the list or work any offered shift, and the employer has to provide written notice of how the standby list works. If an employee on the standby list accepts additional hours, the employee does not receive the extra pay outlined above.

At hire or at any time during employment, employees can request specific schedules. An employer is not required to grant such requests. And, as with all Oregon employment laws, employers cannot retaliate against employees who request schedules, refuse to be on standby or accept standby shifts, or who otherwise exercise their rights under this law.

If you are uncertain if the law applies to your company, or have questions about its requirements, please give me a call.