Senator Leyva: Workers Need the “Fair Scheduling Act of 2020” Now
SB 850 Provides Workers One Week Advance Notice of Upcoming Work Schedule
SACRAMENTO – In an effort to help improve the lives of working families in California, Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) today introduced legislation to ensure reliable schedules for workers whose lives and paychecks are disrupted by constantly changing work schedules.
Specifically, SB 850 will ensure that workers receive their work schedule for the next three weeks at least one week in advance. This bill would also allow workers to receive minor “modification pay” when their schedules are changed with less than seven days’ notice. SB 850 includes several exemptions when employers would not be required to pay “modification pay,” including catastrophic weather events, public utility failures, threats to employees or property, when two employees mutually agree to trade shifts or when an employee previously scheduled to work that shift is fired, disciplined, calls in sick or uses paid / unpaid time off.
“As I have fought for working families throughout my life, it has become clear that many hourly employees—typically in grocery, retail and restaurant settings—continue to be treated unfairly by their employers when they do not find out when or even if they are working until an hour or two before they are required to show up,” noted Senator Leyva. “Shifts are sometimes canceled with little to no notice and employee work schedules are not even finalized promptly for the sole convenience of the employer with minimal regard of the needs of workers. Hardworking Californians, many of whom are on the frontlines of customer service, are the backbone of California’s communities and businesses—and should be treated as such! If and when SB 850 becomes law, low wage workers that currently bear the brunt of this intolerable practice will finally be able to plan their lives better so that they know when they will be able to go to the doctor, if they will need to find child care for their kids and even if they will make enough a certain week to pay their bills. I look forward to leading this important effort in the coming months and am confident that we will achieve a successful outcome for workers and businesses alike.”
Principal coauthor Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) has already signed on in support of SB 850.
“Erratic scheduling practices can be detrimental to working families,” stated Assemblymember Chiu. “These practices disproportionally impact low-income people and communities of color. Since my time on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, I have been an advocate for fair scheduling practices, and I look forward to partnering with Senator Leyva to give California workers the predictability they need to live happy and healthy lives.”
In recent years, some employers in the retail and food service industry have abandoned the traditional weekly work schedule and implemented a policy known as “just in time” scheduling. This practice—often driven by software programs that closely monitor sales and customer traffic—schedules workers on a day-to-day basis without regular hours or advance notice of changes. Many employers require workers to call in every day to find out if they are working, and if so, when and for how long. On the days that the employee is scheduled to work, he or she is sometimes not even given a scheduled end time.
Research demonstrates that unreliable schedules are remarkably common. Parents of young children are among those most likely to experience volatile job schedules. Nearly 70 percent of mothers and 80 percent of fathers of children ages 12 or younger who work in hourly jobs receive hours that fluctuate by up to 40 percent.
SB 850 will soon be assigned to the appropriate Senate committee(s) for consideration.