A handful of U.S. states and cities have recently enacted scheduling notice laws noteworthy for employers. These laws, aimed at protecting workers from unpredictable and unreasonable working schedules, are becoming more common around the country. Generally, the laws obligate employers to give advance notice to their employees of scheduling changes or the employer will be required to pay the employee for “reporting time”.

In both New York City and Seattle, the laws apply to those employers of retail or food establishments employing 500 or more employees. In New York City, employers must provide no less than 72 hours’ notice to employees of their schedules, [New York Legislation] and in Seattle, the employer is required to post the written work schedule 14 days before the first day of the work schedule. Also, in Seattle, for employer-requested changes to the written work schedule that occur after the 14-day schedule has posted, the employer must provide the employee with timely notice of the change and the employee may decline to work any hours not included in the employee’s work schedule [Notice of Work Schedule Change Law].

Similar to New York City and Seattle, in Oregon, employers of retail, food or hospitality services establishments employing 500 or more employees must provide employees their schedules with advance notice of seven days and employees must have at least 10 hours between shifts for rest [Fair Work Week Act] [pdf].

Additionally, San Francisco requires an advanced schedule to be posted at least 2 weeks prior to shifts starting and employers are required to pay a minimum of 2-4 hours of additional pay when schedules are changed [Workers Bill of Rights] [pdf]. In Emeryville, California retail employers with at least 56 employees globally, or fast food employers with at least 56 employees globally and 20 or more within the city of Emeryville, are required to post schedules 14 days ahead of the schedule and pay increased wages for any change made within 7 days of the scheduled shift [Fair Work Week Ordinance] [pdf]. Washington, D.C. has also enacted a scheduling law, which applies only to building service employees, and requires employers to provide minimum hours to building service employees, delegating the majority of work to employees who are guaranteed a minimum of 30 hours or more [Building Service Employees Minimum Work Week Act] [pdf].

Finally, a few additional states have enacted partial scheduling laws. New Hampshire prohibits retail and fast food employers from retaliating against employees who request a flexible work schedule [New Hampshire Legislation] and San Jose, California requires employers to offer additional hours needing filled to existing qualified part time employees before hiring additional employees to fill the hours [Opportunity to Work Ordinance].

Employers in California, Chicago, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey and New York should also stay tuned for new scheduling notice laws that are likely to pass in the near future!