California Labor &
Employment Law Blog
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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For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor

Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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