Retail Workers in Los Angeles to Get More Protections

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Last Tuesday, November 22, 2022, the Los Angeles City Council passed the Fair Work Week Ordinance (“the Ordinance”) that will impose requirements on employers in the City of Los Angeles to provide employees with two weeks’ notice of their work schedules and extra wages for sudden schedule changes.

The Ordinance, which will take effect on April 1, 2023, is relatively narrow in scope. It is only applicable to employers that:

  1. Are identified as a retail business by the North American Industry Classification System within retail trade categories 44 through 45; and
  2. Have 300 or more employees globally (including employees placed through a temporary service or staffing agency, employees of the employer’s subsidiary, and some franchise employees).

What are the New Protections for LA Retail Workers?

The following are some of the many requirements that covered employers in the City of Los Angeles must comply with from April 1, 2023:

  • Two weeks’ notice requirement for work schedules: Employers must notify their employees of their work schedules at least 14 calendar days before the beginning of the work period. Notification is either by posting the schedule in a conspicuous and accessible place in the workplace or by electronically providing the schedule to employees. Subsequent changes to an employee’s schedule must be made in writing (either by posting or electronic transmission to the employee). Employees may decline any hour, shift, or work location changes not included in their original work schedule. If an employee agrees to a schedule change, they must do so in writing.
  • Predictability pay: Section 185.06 of the Ordinance provides that an employee is entitled to predictability pay for each change to a scheduled date, time, or location of the employee’s schedule with less than 14 days’ advance notice. Predictability pay is not required where:
    • The employee requests the schedule change;
    • The employee voluntarily accepts a schedule change made by the employer due to another employee’s absence;
    • The employee accepts additional work hours that were offered by the employer;
    • The employee’s work hours were reduced because the employee violated the law or the employer’s lawful policies and procedures;
    • The employer’s operations are affected by law or force majeure; or
    • The extra hours the employee worked require payment of overtime wages.
  • Rest between shifts: If an employee is to work a shift that begins less than 10 hours from the end of the employee’s last shift, employers will need the employee’s written consent to schedule such a shift. Additionally, if an employee works such a shift, they must be paid a time and a half premium.

To ensure compliance, employers in the retail industry should begin reviewing their scheduling practices before the Ordinance takes effect on April 1, 2023.