Bill name: Schedules That Work Act
Bill sponsor: H.R. 5004, Rep. Rosa DeLaura (D-CT)
Summary: The Schedules That Work Act creates new requirements for employers to provide consistent, inflexible work schedules. It grants workers the right to request certain changes to the terms and conditions of their employment, as it relates to hours and location of work, the amount of time for notification of work schedule, and minimizing fluctuations in the number of scheduled hours worked on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. An employer would be required to accommodate these requests in a timely manner and approve if made due to an employee’s health, responsibilities as a caregiver, or enrollment in an educational or training program― unless the employer has a “bona fide business reason” to reject it.
Background: Employers would be required to pay retail, food service, and cleaning employees for at least four hours of work if those workers are let go early from a scheduled shift. Any split shifts for those specific sectors would require an additional hour of pay for the worker. Employees covered by a union’s collective bargaining agreement would be exempt if that agreement covers scheduling practices.
Further, the bill creates new penalties on employers that don’t adhere to the new requirements or retaliate against an employee exercising the new rights created by the bill. The costs and regulatory burdens imposed by the Schedules That Work Act would lead to fewer hours for workers and eliminate the flexibility that many enjoy. For employers, it would be unworkable and prohibitively expensive, particularly for small businesses.
Bill Status: Rep. DeLauro reintroduced the Schedules That Work Act on November 8, 2019.
National Retail Federation