What Are Predictive Scheduling Laws?

At times, you may want to suddenly change an hourly employee’s work schedule to better suit your business needs. However, several jurisdictions have enacted predictive scheduling laws to prevent certain employers from changing hourly employees’ schedules without giving advance notice.

On Nov. 25, 2014, San Francisco passed the first predictive scheduling law, called ‘The Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinances.’

The San Francisco law requires covered retail chains to give employees their work schedules two weeks in advance. Covered employers who change an employee’s schedule without giving at least seven days’ advance notice must provide the employee with “predictability pay” (a penalty) — unless an exception applies.

Several other jurisdictions across the country have passed, or are considering, predictive scheduling laws. Most of these laws exclusively target larger employers in the retail, hospitality and food services industries.

Per an article published by the Society for Human Resource Management, “As justification for this disparate treatment, legislators have pointed to the disproportionate number of low-wage workers present in these industries who they believe warrant greater protection.”

Currently, the following jurisdictions have enacted predictive scheduling laws:

  • San Francisco (effective July 3, 2015).
  • Emeryville, California (effective Jan. 1, 2018).
  • Chicago (effective July 1, 2020).
  • New York (effective May 30, 2017).
  • Oregon, statewide (effective Aug. 8, 2017).
  • Philadelphia (effective April 1, 2020).
  • Seattle (effective July 1, 2017).

Further, states such as Vermont and New Hampshire have passed “flexible working arrangements” laws. While these aren’t actual predictive scheduling laws, they give employees the right to request scheduling changes and encourage employers to consider these requests.

Predictive scheduling rules vary by jurisdiction, but often have the following components:

  • Advanced notice of work schedules.
  • Written estimate of the number of hours the employee will likely be scheduled to work.
  • Predictability pay if adequate advance notice isn’t given.
  • Exceptions to the predictability pay requirements.
  • Posting rules.
  • Breaks or rest periods between work shifts.
  • Record-keeping criteria.

COVID-19 exception

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses had to close or radically modify employees’ work schedules.

As stated in an article published by SHRM, “The [predictive scheduling] laws in many jurisdictions provide exceptions to the notice rules and penalties when acts of nature or other circumstances outside the employer’s control hinder operations.” The COVID-19 pandemic likely qualifies as an exception.

State restrictions

States such as Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa and Tennessee have passed laws banning their local governments from enacting employment-related or scheduling laws. In such states, employers do not have to abide by predictive scheduling laws unless the state or federal government mandates it.

Generally speaking, industry observers expect more states and local governments to enact predictive scheduling legislation. Therefore, employers should be on the lookout for new developments. Make sure you are well versed in the rules governing your business in your jurisdiction.

Copyright 2021

Get to know Atlantic Payroll Partners

At Atlantic Payroll Partners we believe we are the best, local payroll provider to help you grow your business. Even more than that. We’re a Professional Employment Organization that offers an incredible suite of solutions for your business. In addition to offering payroll services we offer,

Our solution suite is back by over 100 years of combined experience in the PEO space.

We’re proud to say that we’ve helped businesses reduce employee turnover, increase revenue, make more money, and lighten their daily load by working with us. Our clients can offer their employees’ health care benefits, and access to the same 401k plans that the Fortune 500 companies use without breaking the bank.

We welcome you to continue exploring our website, to learn more about Atlantic Payroll Partners and how we can help improve your business. 

"Work Less, Fish More"

Payroll Timekeeping Innovations

Payroll Timekeeping Innovations: A Brief History 

According to World Heritage Encyclopedia, the first time clock was created in 1888 by a New York-based jeweler named William Bundy. The mechanical device — called a “key recorder” — worked by printing (on a paper tape) the specific time the employee inserted a designated numbered key.  william bundy time clock

Since then, mechanical time clocks have come a long way. Notable progressions include punch or swipe clocks, which require employees to clock in and out at the terminal via paper cards or laminated badges. However, these systems are prone to fraud — including “buddy punching,” which is when employees clock in and out for each other.

Such systems aren’t cutting it anymore, especially with work-from-home arrangements reportedly growing 173% since 2005, mobility becoming an intrinsic aspect of employment and timekeeping laws getting more complex.

Consequently, employers are shifting to more advanced models — such as biometric time clocks, web-based software, mobile applications, and time and scheduling solutions.

Biometric time clocks

 A biometric time clock is the easiest way to thwart buddy punching, as it relies on fingerprint, palm, facial or iris scan to record employees’ work time. The scans are unique to the employee, thereby making it difficult for employees to engage in time theft.

Web-based software

Web-based (or cloud-based) timekeeping software allows employees to clock in and out online from their desktop computer or laptop via their dedicated username and password. The software is ideal for employers with remote workers or those that want to:

  • Eliminate the use of physical time clocks.
  • Attach time limits to certain projects.
  • Integrate their timekeeping system with their HR or payroll software.

Mobile applications

A mobile timekeeping app lets employees clock in and out from anywhere and from any device, including their smartphones. Mobile apps can also work offline. So even if there’s no internet connection, the employee’s work hours can still be recorded. The employee simply launches the app as normal, and their recorded time will sync to their account once there’s an internet connection.

Mobile timekeeping apps can facilitate GPS tracking, which enables employers to track the location of their mobile workers. Further, both mobile and web-based timekeeping systems have self-service capabilities, which let employees view and manage their timekeeping data from a dashboard.

Time and scheduling solutions

Scheduling and time tracking go hand in hand, which is why many timekeeping systems these days entail scheduling as well.

An integrated time and scheduling tool allows you to:

  • Create and edit work schedules.
  • Notify employees of their work shifts.
  • Establish alerts that will instantly inform you of scheduling conflicts.
  • Track employees’ activity in real time.
  • Monitor employees’ attendance.
  • Process employees’ paid time off requests.
  • Track PTO accruals.
  • Record employees’ work time — regardless of whether they’re in the office, in the field or working remotely.
  • Generate customized time and scheduling reports.

When properly designed, implemented and utilized, these modern timekeeping systems can help you eradicate time theft, increase accuracy, reduce administrative burdens, control overtime expenses, improve compliance and enhance employee satisfaction. At Atlantic Payroll Partners we offer the modern timekeeping and scheduling solutions needed for you and your employees. Reach out to use to receive a quote for payroll, workers’ compensation and more.

Copyright 2021

About Atlantic Payroll Partners

At Atlantic Payroll Partners we believe we are the best, local payroll provider to help you grow your business. Even more than that. We’re a professional employment organization that offers an incredible suite of solutions for your business. In addition to offering payroll services we offer, full-service HR, workers’ compensation, accounting, and health care benefits. Our solution suite is back by over 100 years of combined experience in the PEO space.

We’re proud to say that we’ve helped businesses reduce employee turnover, increase revenue, make more money, and lighten their daily load by working with us. Our clients can offer their employees’ health care benefits and access to the same 401k plans that the Fortune 500 companies use without breaking the bank.

We welcome you to continue exploring our website, to learn more about Atlantic Payroll Partners and how we can help improve your business. We do our job, so that you can focus on yours.

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