How are You Managing the New Oregon Fair Work Week Act?

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On July 1, 2018, Oregon’s Fair Work Week Act took effect, making the state the first in the U.S. to enact a predictive scheduling law on a statewide level. These new regulations create major challenges and potential costs for restaurant, hospitality and retail employers throughout the state, requiring them to fundamentally change how they schedule their workers.

The law is meant to provide more structure and stability around schedules for hourly employees of large brands. As such, restaurant, retail and hospitality employers with 500 or more employees worldwide must now comply. This includes chains and integrated enterprises, but not independently owned franchises.

New Requirements for Employers

The Oregon Fair Work Week Act contains many of the same requirements as similar legislation in Seattle, San Francisco and New York City, as well as a few features unique to Oregon. The following are some of the key features in the Oregon legislation:

Advance Notice of Schedules: This is the provision of the law that causes employers the most heartburn. Affected businesses are required to provide workers with written notice of their schedules days in advance of their shifts.

  • As of July 1, 2018, employers must give employees written notice of their schedules seven days in advance.
  • Starting July 1, 2020, employers must give employees written notice of their schedules 14 days in advance.

If an employer makes last-minute changes to a posted schedule, it will incur a premium payment with additional pay for time worked based on the employees’ hourly rate.

Right to Rest: Employers must now provide their workers at least 10 hours of rest in between shifts, doing away with a practice commonly known as “clopening.” Employees will earn time-and-a-half for those hours worked less than 10 hours after their previous shift.

Standby List: Employers can maintain a standby list of employees willing to work extra hours on short notice in the event of unexpected volume or employee absences. The list is voluntary and employees are allowed to decline the hours if they don’t want to work them.

Keep Record of Compliance: Employers must maintain records demonstrating their compliance with the laws for three years.

Building Compliant Schedules to Avoid Penalties

The civil penalties for businesses that fail to comply are significant. According to the law, Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries can assess statutory penalties that range from $500 to $1,000. Furthermore, there are civil penalties of $2,000 for any employer found to be coercing employees into asking or agreeing to be added to the standby list.

Now that the Fair Work Week Act is law, operators must manage the requirements. One effective method of doing so is working with a technology partner who can provide configurable labor and scheduling tools that help restaurants manage compliance, and reduce the risk of penalties.

HotSchedules has enhanced predictive scheduling features for restaurants that can help operators handle Fair Work Week requirements. Both HotSchedules labor solutions and Clarifi, the first intelligent restaurant operating platform, address the unique scheduling challenges with configurable labor rules, manager alerts to potential compliance violations, shift transaction reporting and continuous electronic documentation. This law is here to stay, so it’s important to have a long-term partner.

11 Things Operators Need to Manage Oregon’s Fair Work Week Law

  • Educate the people who make your restaurant schedules — your managers.
  • Be able to create and communicate schedules 14 days in advance of shifts.
  • Explore tools to give employees “right to request input into the work schedules.”
  • Be able to submit availability & time-off requests.
  • Be able to find replacement coverage & proof of picking up voluntary hours.
  • Documentation of manager approval/denial with reason and date/time.
  • Documentation or consent from employees around certain shift transactions.
  • At a minimum, three years of archived, documented shift transactions and other documentation related to employee schedules (i.e. disciplinary reasons for not providing additional hours.)
  • Be able to provide schedules and related shift transactions in English and the employee’s primary language.
  • Remove “on-call” or “call-in” shifts from your scheduling practices.
  • Choose a system that automatically alerts managers when they schedule a clopening.

The materials and information included on this page are provided for informational purposes only. They are not intended either as a substitute for professional advice or judgment or to provide legal or other advice with respect to particular circumstances.

HotSchedules recommends that you consult an attorney licensed to practice law in your state for a professional analysis of the employment and other laws that impact your business.

Learn more about how HotSchedules solutions can help manage predictive scheduling.

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