On May 19, 2015, New Jersey Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg introduced a bill (S2933) as part of a package of legislation seeking to dramatically regulate the scheduling and compensation of employees in New Jersey. The bill, entitled the “New Jersey Schedules That Work Act,” would require employers to engage in a “timely, good faith interactive process” whenever they receive a request for a schedule change from an employee. Moreover, employers would be required to grant requests to change schedules in certain cases absent a bona fide business reason for denying the request. For example, an employee seeking to enroll in career-related education or training, or a part-time employee seeking a change in connection with a second job, would be entitled to a schedule change unless the employer has a bona fide business reason for rejecting the request. Further, an employer would be required to provide a written response to any request for a change in schedule.
The second part of the bill regulates the scheduling and compensation of employees in the retail, food service, and cleaning industries. Among other obligations, including requiring employers to provide written notice of an employee’s work schedule in advance, the bill would require employers to pay retail, food service, or cleaning employees:
- At least four hours at the employee’s standard hourly rate for every day worked, unless the employee was expressly scheduled for less than four hours of work;
- At least one hour at the employee’s standard hourly rate for each day the employee is asked to remain on call; and
- An additional hour at the employee’s standard hourly rate for every day the employee is scheduled to work a split shift.