Two years ago, Oregon became the first state to pass a predictable scheduling law. A similar measure was recently introduced in the New Jersey legislature; if passed, the measure would have a significant impact on New Jersey businesses with 250 workers or more, especially in retail, hospitality, restaurants and warehouses.
Employers would be mandated to notify and compensate workers for certain shift changes. Those eligible businesses would also be required to offer existing employees work before hiring externally.
Under the New Jersey Fair Workweek Act, employers would be required to supply new hires. with written work schedule estimates. The estimates would have to describe the average total of weekly hours for the employees, as well as giving a minimum and maximum number of hours per week.
Employers would also have to tell workers the minimum shift-lengths he or she could expect. In addition, employers would be required to tell workers the following:
- Number of days they will be expected to work weekly
- Number of shifts they can expect weekly
- Hours and days during which workers will not be expected on the job
Employees could request schedule changes, which would require employers to launch an interactive process before the requests were denied or granted.
Businesses could compel employees to work beyond the estimated hours as long as they have “a bona fide business reason” and had made “every effort” to schedule hours and shifts according to employee preferences.
If a business decides to change work schedules, it will have to notify eligible employees at least two weeks in advance.
Morristown business owners and managers can contact an experienced employment law attorney to discuss compliance with recent changes to New Jersey law and to prepare for anticipated changes.