US Senate Bill Aims

to Fix Work Scheduling

_____________________

Would Provide Latitude

to Take Time off and Require

Predictable, Stable Schedules

 

          Senator Warren’s bill, The Schedules That Work Act, S.1772, targets scheduling hardships experienced by certain classes of workers. It arrives in the federal legislative process on the heels of “fair scheduling” bills that have become law at the state and local level. It would also require employers to make, keep, and preserve records of compliance with the Act, and post a notice in the workplace explaining employees’ rights under the Act. An identical bill, H.R.3071, also was introduced in the House of Representatives.

           

            The bill provides that an employee may apply to the employer to request a change in the terms and conditions of employment as they relate to:

  1. the number of hours the employee is required to work or be on call for work;
  2. the times when the employee is required to work or be on call for work;
  3. the location where the employee is required to work;
  4. the amount of notification the employee receives of work schedule assignments; and
  5. the minimizing of fluctuations in the number of hours the employee is scheduled to work on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

            According to the bill, the employer would be required to engage in a timely, good faith interactive process with the employee that includes a discussion of potential schedule changes that would meet the employee’s needs.

 

            This interactive process would result in the employer:

  1. granting or denying the request;
  2. if the request is denied, considering alternatives to the proposed change that might meet the employee’s needs and granting or denying a request for an alternative change; and
  3. in the event of a denial, stating the reason for denial, including whether any such reason is a bona fide business reason.

            The bill also would require employers to provide restaurant, retail, and building cleaning employees with reporting time pay, split shift pay, and advance notification of work schedules.

           

            The Act would exempt any employer with a bona fide collective bargaining agreement if the terms of the collective bargaining agreement include terms that govern work scheduling practices.

 

            The Secretary of Labor would be empowered to bring a civil action to enforce the Act.

8/7/15