Work Scheduling Bill Advances in D.C.

Workers would not longer be at their employers’ beck-and-call under legislation that is making its way through the Washington, D.C. city council. The bill, which passed a council committee last week, would impose strict rules for the amount of advice notice employers must give employees when scheduling their shifts.

If the bill passes, the nation’s capital would join San Francisco as the only two cities to outlaw the practice known as “just-in-time” scheduling. Some companies use that practice to assign workers according to the time of day or month that they expect the most business, requiring them to be available at a moment’s notice and sometimes sending them home if business is slow.

The “Hours and Scheduling Stability Act of 2015” would prohibit employers with more than 40 locations nationwide from making changes to workers’ schedules less than two weeks in advance. Businesses would also have to give extra hours to current part-time workers, instead of hiring more part-time workers.

Businesses that do not comply with the law could be fined.

The bill passed the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs  a week ago today in a 3 to 2 vote.

Text of the proposed legislation is here.

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