Philadelphia Fair Workweek Legislation – 5 Changes Philadelphia Employers Must Make to Stay Up to Code

by Derek Jones, 8 minutes read
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Philadelphia Fair Workweek Legislation – 5 Changes Philadelphia Employers Must Make to Stay Up to Code

Philadelphia Fair Workweek Legislation

Fair Workweek laws (also referred to as Predictive Scheduling) are sweeping the nation and are designed to better the everyday lives of hourly employees. To learn more regarding Fair Workweek laws and the rules and regulations surrounding them, click here to be taken to your very own Predictive Scheduling eBook that can be referenced whenever you need to, as well as clicking the button below to view a document that can inform & guide you further.

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Modeled after the Fair Workweek legislation of past cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, Philadelphia is looking to pass their own legislation that will work to strengthen the rights of their 130,000+ hourly workforce, a quarter of which are considered part-time employees.

Philadelphia Fair Workweek Legislation

This should come as no surprise as the City of Brotherly Love has a history of enacting laws to the benefit of their hourly workers. The first of which was in 2014 when Philadelphia passed a bill requiring city contractors to receive at least $12 an hour and the next in 2015 when the city passed a mandatory paid sick-leave bill.

While Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek laws will have similarities to legislation passed in other cities, it will also contain rules & regulations specific to the city of Philadelphia. To get a better idea of the rules that Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek legislation would entail, take a look at a handful of its qualities below:

  • Employees will need to receive a reasonable notice of their schedules (at least 2 weeks).
  • Employees will need to receive at least 11 hours of rest in-between their shifts in order to prevent the occurrence of “clopening shifts”.
  • Philadelphia employers will have to provide employees with ample opportunities to work additional hours.

These regulations come as surveys of Philadelphia’s workforce reveal that 79% of hourly workers don’t have a regular work schedule and 45% can’t predict their monthly incomes due to the variance in the hours assigned to them each week. In fact, researchers found that Philadelphia workers experienced up to a 14-hour difference in their schedules from week to week. If you’re an employer in Philadelphia that will be affected by this incoming legislation, continue reading as we touch on the 5 most important changes businesses in Philadelphia must make to ensure they stay up-to-code on Fair Workweek legislation.

1. Post schedules at least two weeks in advance

The days of posting the weeks schedule on Sunday night or forcing your employees to call each day to see if they’re working is about to be a thing of the past. Philadelphia employers will soon be required to give employees at least a two-week notice on their schedules for the week. To give yourself a head start, go ahead and get into the habit of creating your schedules well in advance so your employees will have enough time to let you know of anything that needs to be changed. You may be thinking, “I’m already busy as it is, how am I supposed to find time to make and release schedules that early in advance?”

Philadelphia Fair Workweek Legislation

We understand that the process of creating and sending out schedules can be a painstaking process, this is especially true if you’re still using Excel or pen & paper to create your schedules. If you’re tired of dealing with this process, then take a look at the auto-scheduling features that accompany the Deputy software system that can help you tremendously in creating schedules two weeks in advance:

  • Accurately forecast your future need for labor: Deputy’s systems are able to dissect data regarding your sales, foot traffic, rate of bookings, etc. to take all of the guesswork out of the number of employees you’ll need for each shift. This allows you to have perfectly reliable data regarding the number of employees you’ll need for each shift. So if you’re in the middle of making schedules and are stuck choosing between having either 5 or 6 employees on staff for Wednesday’s day shift, all you have to do is reference Deputy’s systems so it can fill you in on how many people will be needed. This way, you no longer have to worry about breaking the news to an employee that they must be cut.

  • Manage any compliance restrictions: One aspect of Fair Workweek laws is that you aren’t allowed to schedule an employee for an early morning “opening” shift after they just worked a “closing” shift the night before. With these rules in place, you don’t want to make the mistake of assigning an employee for any shifts that are breaking this rule. To help you out with this, Deputy’s software allows you to manage your compliance worries by setting rules in place that will stop the auto-scheduling feature from creating schedules that break any Fair Workweek laws.

  • Learns from your past schedules: Humans are creatures of habit, so your employees will most likely prefer to work the same shifts each week. It also helps them plan their lives knowing that they will, for the most part, be sticking to the same schedule each week. Deputy’s auto-scheduling feature learns from the schedules from your past and automatically assigns employees that typically work those shifts all with just a click of a button. In order to see these auto-scheduling features for yourself, click on the button below to begin your free trial of Deputy.


2. Fluctuating the number of hours that employees work each week

Sometimes you all are so busy that you have to call employees to pick shifts up at the last minute, and sometimes you’re so slow that you don’t need much more besides the manager and one other employee. Either way, you must live up to the guarantees that you made to employees when you hired them. So if you hired them as a full-time employee, then make sure that they’re getting full-time hours each week. On the other hand, if they are part-time, don’t try and force them to pick up more shifts when you all are busy. They have commitments outside of your business, whether it be school, kids, another job, etc. so not only will forcing them to pick up more shifts be hurtful to your employer brand, but it will put you in breach of Fair Workweek laws.

Philadelphia Fair Workweek Legislation

3. Scheduling employees for “Clopening shifts”

Imagine if a store closed at midnight and opened at 9 a.m. If the same employee closed then opened the store the very next day, that means they would have to serve customers up until midnight, spend 20-30 minutes performing closing duties, then spend however much time it takes to commute back to their home. A very modest estimate would say they would get to bed by 2am-3am. Now, since they must also open the store, they will likely have to get up around 6am-7am to have enough time to commute to work as well as get everything ready to open the store. This puts the employee in a situation where they are only getting around 3-5 hours of sleep that night, which is well below the healthy standard. In order to ensure your employees are getting enough rest, make sure that you aren’t assigning the same employees for opening shifts after they’ve just worked a closing shift the night before.

Philadelphia Fair Workweek Legislation

4. Keeping employees “on-call”

Some businesses are so varied in their need for employees that they enact rules that employees must be kept “on-call” at all times. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “on-call”, it refers to forcing an employee to be available to work during all business hours just in case anything comes up that needs their assistance. If your business is guilty of doing this, do yourself a favor and begin the process of stopping this. This often puts employees under a considerable amount of pressure and anxiety when they are not on the clock and just trying to live their lives. If your business constantly suffers from not knowing how many employees will be needed for each shift, then take a look at the auto-scheduling features that accompany Deputy. One of the features includes a function that analyzes the past data of a company’s sales, bookings, etc. to forecast the number of employees you’ll need to be working at different shifts.

Philadelphia Fair Workweek Legislation

5. Rejecting employee time-off requests

There is nothing wrong with having strict rules set in place for time-off requests, many businesses find that they need these rules in place in order to stop certain employees from taking advantage of time-off requests. On the other hand, there is something wrong if your business is rejecting employee time-off requests for important matters. In fact, it’s so wrong that Fair Workweek laws dictate that an employer must provide a valid reason for rejecting employee time-off requests when employees want those days off due to the following: caregiving obligations, education, a second job, or the employee’s own health needs. So make sure that if an employee asks for any days off because of any of the previously stated reasons, you give them those days off unless you have a VERY good reason not to.

Last thoughts

Philadelphia is close to passing its own Fair Workweek legislation, so make sure you update your businesses’ operations and procedures so you are well prepared when the new rules are set in place.

To ensure that you’re ahead of the curve, get a head start by clicking on the button below to begin your free trial of Deputy and to see the features that will ensure your business is compliant with all Predictive Scheduling legislation first-hand.

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