New Law Will Require Certain Employers to Provide Employees with Advance Notice of Work Schedules

Certain retail, food services, and hospitality employers will be required to give employees advance notice of working schedules and additional pay for last minute schedule changes beginning July 1, 2018 under a new Oregon law.  Senate Bill 828, known as the Fair Work Week Act (“Act”), was passed by the Oregon legislature prior to the close of the 2017 session and will preempt any local scheduling ordinances.

The Act applies to employers with 500 or more employees worldwide (including chains and integrated enterprises, but not separately owned franchises) in the above referenced industries. The law will require employers to take the following steps:  (a) provide each newly hired employee with a written good faith estimate of his/her work schedule at the time of hire (including the median number of hours the employee can expect to work in an average one-month period);  (b) give employees a written work schedule at least seven calendar days in advance and post the schedule in a “conspicuous and accessible location” (and 14 days in advance beginning July 1, 2020); and (c) provide a gap of at least 10 hours for workers between two shifts (which an employee may voluntarily waive, but such waiver will result in paying the employee time and one half).

In addition, the Act provides that employees may be eligible for additional wages in certain situations when employers make last minute schedule changes.  To offset this possibility, employers are allowed to maintain a standby list of employees who volunteer to work additional hours; however, such employees cannot be required to work any extra hours offered.

Individuals can file a civil lawsuit for alleged violations of the law.  Remedies include reinstatement, back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages.

EQUAL PAY ACT PROVISION EFFECTIVE OCT. 6, 2017:  Employers are reminded that as of October 6, the Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017, will prohibit employers from (a) asking current employees or applicants about salary history, and (b) asking current or former employers about an employee’s or applicant’s salary history.  Action Items:  Employers should immediately review job applications, interview questions and employment reference questions to ensure no salary history is being requested.

Anne Denecke is available to answer questions at 503-542-7828 (adenecke@deneckelaw.com)