San Francisco Passes Retail Workers Bill of Rights
by Paul Wolf - posted 12:12 am, December 5, 2014
The City of San Francisco Board of Supervisors on November 25, 2014, passed the first Retail Workers Bill of Rights in the nation. The legislation will apply to retail chains with 11 or more locations nationally or worldwide and that have at least 20 employees in San Francisco under one management system. The new law will apply to companies such as Target, McDonald’s and Wal-Mart but not to small businesses. The Ordinance requires:
• Businesses to post workers’ schedules at least two weeks in advance.
• Workers will receive compensation for last-minute schedule changes, “on-call” hours, and instances in which they’re sent home before completing their assigned shifts.
• Businesses must also offer existing part-time workers additional hours before hiring new employees, and they are required to give part-timers and full-timers equal access to scheduling and time-off requests.
Federal Legislation Introduced As Well
Legislation similar to San Francisco’s new Ordinance has also been introduced in Congress. The Schedules That Work Act is sponsored by Representatives George Miller (D-Calif.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in the House of Representatives with 27 cosponsors. Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are the sponsors of the Senate’s companion legislation.
The Schedules That Work Act would provide relief to workers facing irregular and unpredictable schedules by:
• Protecting all employees from retaliation for requesting a more flexible, predictable or stable schedule.
• Creating a process for employers to consider requests that is responsive to the needs of both employees and employers. Employees who make requests because they have caregiving duties, are dealing with a health condition, are pursuing education or training courses, or need to meet the demands of a second job must be granted the schedule change, unless the employer has a bona fide business reason for denying it.
• Compensating retail, food service, and cleaning workers for at least four hours of work if an employee reports to work when scheduled for at least four hours but is sent home early.
• Providing that retail, food service, and cleaning employees receive work schedules at least two weeks in advance. Though schedules may later be changed, one hour’s worth of extra pay is required for schedules changed with less than 24 hours’ notice.
• Providing workers an extra hour of pay if scheduled to work split shifts, or non-consecutive shifts within a single day.
The San Francisco and federal legislation do not seem like unreasonable items to me. What do you think?