Apr. 13 2016

Senate Labor Committee Passes Fair Scheduling Act

Topics: New Laws & Legislation, Wage & Hour Issues

Within the last few weeks, California has raised its minimum wage and expanded its paid family leave rights.  Another bill expanding employee rights that is pending in the State Legislature is SB 878.  This bill is designed to require California grocery, retail, and restaurant employers to provide employees advance notice of their work schedules and to pay its employees “modification pay” for any unilateral changes that the employer makes to the schedule thereafter.   

SB 878, in its current form, requires covered employers to provide all non-exempt employees with their work schedule, setting forth all hours of work, at least seven calendar days prior to the first shift on the schedule.  If the employer (a) subsequently cancels or moves the shift to another date or time or (b) subsequently requires the employee to work a shift not on the provided schedule, the employer must pay the employee additional “modification pay” on top of his or her regular pay and any applicable overtime, as follows:

  • If the change occurred more than 24 hours prior to the shift (but less than seven calendar days), the employee receives an additional hour of pay at his or her regular rate of pay;
  • If the change occurs in less than 24 hours prior to the commencement of the shift, the employee receives modification pay that is at least equal to half of that shift’s hours, but in no event less than two hours and no greater than four hours.

There are certain exemptions to modification pay that include acts of God, illness/vacation of another employee where that employee did not provide seven days’ notice of said illness or vacation, and where utilities are unable to provide water, gas or electricity causing modifications.  In addition, the modification pay is not required where the employer requires the employee to work overtime (beyond the scheduled shift). 

Earlier today, the California Senate Labor Committee passed this bill by a vote of 4-1.  California grocery, restaurant, and retail employers will want to keep a close eye on the progress of this legislation.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent represents employers, including major food and retail companies, in all types of employment litigation: wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, wage and hour (California Labor Code) and unfair competition. She also regularly counsels and advises California employers on issues of compliance with California and federal employment laws.
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