Emeryville, CA Ushers In Minimum Wage Increase & Fair Workweek Scheduling Law

Minimum Wage

In case you missed it, this month the City of Emeryville, California boosted minimum wage workers’ pay. Effective July 1, 2017, the minimum wage rate for employees of large employers (56 or more employees) increased to $15.20 per hour. The minimum wage rate employees of small employers (55 or fewer employees) increased to $14.00 per hour. Any employee who works at least two hours per week within the geographic boundaries of the city must be paid at least the applicable minimum wage rate. The city is still working on the revised 2017 Minimum Wage notices and we expected to have them soon.

Fair Workweek Scheduling

An increase in the minimum wage is not the only benefit Emeryville workers can get excited about. On July 1, 2017, the City’s “Fair Workweek Employment Standards” Ordinance went into effect. The Ordinance applies to retail businesses with 56 or more employees globally and to fast food chains with 56 or more employees globally and at least 20 employees in Emeryville. The Ordinance requires employers to provide employees with advance notice of their work schedules. It requires employers to provide “predictability pay” when hours are lost due to short-notice schedule changes. It also requires employers to offer extra hours to existing part-time employees before hiring any new employees.

  1. Advance Notice of Work Schedule – Employers must provide new hires with a written, good faith estimate of the employee’s work schedule and must consider modifying that schedule if requested by the new hire. Employers must provide current employees two weeks’ advance notice of their work schedules by posting the work schedule in a conspicuous place at the workplace or by providing the schedule to employees electronically.
  2. Advance Notice of Schedule Changes – Employers must notify an employee of any change to the employee’s posted work schedule via in-person conversation, telephone call, email, text message, or other electronic communication. Employees have the right to decline without reprisal any additional, previously unscheduled hours given on less than 14 days’ notice.
  3. Predictability Pay – An employer must pay employee one hour of predictability pay whenever the employer adds or subtracts, moves to another date or time, or cancels hours with less than 14 days’ notice but more than 24 hours notice. An employer must pay an employee for four hours or the number of hours in the employee’s scheduled shift, whichever is less, when the employer cancels or reduces hours with less than 24 hours’ notice. For all other changes, predictability pay equals one hour. Predictability pay is in addition to the employee’s regular pay for working the shift.
  4. Offer of Work to Existing Employees – Prior to hiring new or temporary employees, an employer must first offer any additional hours of work to existing, qualified, part-time employees. The employer’s offer must be in writing or posted in a conspicuous location or to internal website. Employees have 72 hours to accept additional work expected to last more than 2 weeks, and 24 hours to accept work expected to last 2 weeks or less.
  5. Other protections – An employee has the right to decline hours that occur less than 11 hours from the end of the employee’s previous shift. An employee also has the right to request changes to his or her work schedule without retaliation. However, predictability pay is not required for employee-initiated schedule changes, mutually agreed-upon shift swapping, or changes due to certain interruptions in business operations.

From July 1 through December 31, 2017, the City is conducting a “soft launch” of the Ordinance. Implementing rules are currently in development. Although the city has not yet released a model notice, employers will be required to provide new hires with a notice of their rights and post a notice in the workplace. You can participate in the rulemaking by clicking this link.

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