Philly Fair Workweek – How Deputy Bridges the Gap to Compliance

Katie Sawyer

Katie Sawyer

June 27, 2019

Philly Fair Workweek – How Deputy Bridges the Gap to Compliance

Katie Sawyer,
June 27, 2019

Philadelphia City Council passed a Fair Workweek Employment Standard Ordinance, which comes into effect on January 1, 2020. The ordinance includes a number of requirements that employers of hourly shift workers must abide by to avoid fines and other penalties.

And to ensure employers in Philadelphia don’t break any of these new standards that were laid out for them, software solutions like Deputy are here to keep them compliant and to prepare their businesses.

Employers that are affected:

The ordinance defines a covered employer as any retail, hospitality or food service establishment employing 250 or more staff members. This includes businesses that are chains or franchisees.

Employees that are affected:

Covered employees include every full-time, part-time, seasonal, and temporary staff member employed by a covered employer in Philadelphia.

It should be noted that the ordinance is only applicable to employees and not independent contractors. Also, covered employers are responsible for bearing the burden of proof of whether or not an employee is considered an independent contractor.

Restrictions on hiring

Employers must give current employees the first right of refusal to work more hours before giving these hours to new workers, as well as giving at least 72 hours advance notice of any available shifts.

When providing this notice, it must be in English and any other primary language that employees use in the workplace. The notice must be posted in a place that’s obvious and available for all employees to see.

It also must be distributed electronically and in any other avenues you use to communicate schedules to your employees. If you have multiple locations, you have to first offer the shift to the employees who normally work at the location with the available shift.

To ensure there’s never an issue with sharing information regarding shifts, (or sharing any other important information regarding work) Deputy allows employers to:

  • Once schedules are published, employers can notify employees they’re available through email, text, or push notifications. They can also notify them of available shifts through the same avenues.
  • Create posts to be shared with your entire staff as well as one-off messages to specific employees. Employees can even comment on posts to begin conversations.
  • Manage communication across multiple areas and locations.
  • Request confirmation from employees whenever they receive a message so you know they received it. Employers can even attach PDFs, images, or other files to messages.

How it affects new employees

When you hire a new employee, you must provide them with a good faith estimate in writing about their work schedule. This written estimate must include:

  • The minimum number of hours they can expect to work every week over a period of 90 days.
  • Whether they will be expected to work full shifts.
  • An estimate of the days and times or shifts they can expect to work.

You’ll need to complete this good faith estimate for any new hires, or if there’s a change in your business needs.

Requirements for existing employees

You’ll need to give the employees advance written notice of their schedules. This must include the employees’ shifts, as well as whether they’re on call. Here are the main provisions of this requirement:

  • The timing of the notice

You must give written notice of the employee’s work hours no later than 10 days before the first day of any new schedule. This will change again starting January 1st, 2021, when the written notice will need to be provided no later than 14 days before the first day of the new schedule.

  • Where the notice is located

You must post the work schedule in a noticeable place that can be accessed by your employees and in the same area that other notices are posted. Additionally, if the employees get their notice electronically, you’re going to have to do that as well.

  • Written notice

Communication about scheduling must be in print or any electronic means, including texts, emails or scheduling apps, like Deputy.

  • Content of the notice

The notice must include all of the employees’ shifts and whether or not they’re meant to be on call that week.

  • Changes to the schedule

As quickly as possible and before the change happens, you must give your employees notice of any changes to their work schedule within 24 hours.

These guidelines are particularly difficult for a business to live up to if they’re using ineffective process for their scheduling practices that causes them to spend entire days on creating employee schedules.

Which is why covered employers in Philadelphia need to look towards Deputy’s scheduling software that allows employers to create schedules quickly so they can send them out weeks in advance with no issue.

Take a look at these scheduling features that come equipped with Deputy.

  • Auto-scheduling creates your employee schedules all with a single click! It works by studying your past demand signals like sales, foot traffic, bookings, etc. so you save on labor costs and are always assured you have enough employees on hand.
  • Deputy’s schedule creation process is quick & intuitive, allowing employers to create them and send them out weeks in advance with ease.
  • Employers are able to input customized scheduling rules like the ones mandated by Philadelphia Fair Workweek. Once rules are set, auto-scheduling will create optimized schedules every time.
  • The platform also makes it easy to find & replace employees as well as manage any changes to schedules like offering up shifts or allowing employees to swap shifts with one another.
  • Scheduling breaks for employees is also made easy with Deputy’s ability to schedule multiple breaks, both paid and unpaid, within a single shift.

Predictability pay

If you don’t notify your employees within the time frame that’s stipulated by the Philadelphia Fair Workweek, you must pay what’s called predictability pay – which is in addition to what you regularly pay your employees in wages.

Predictability pay works as follows:

  • Schedule additions and changes with no loss of hours

You’ll need to pay one hour at the employee’s normal pay rate when you add time to their work shift or change the date, location or time to a work shift but the employee does not lose any hours. It also gives the employee a 20-minute grace period for timeliness at the beginning and end of the shift.

  • Schedule restrictions

You must pay at least one-half of the employee’s normal pay rate per hour for any scheduled hours that the employee isn’t working when a regular or on-call shift is canceled or is made shorter.

You don’t have to provide predictability pay in the following circumstances.

1. When your employee asks you to change their shifts in writing.

2. When an employee volunteers to work more hours because another employee can’t work their scheduled hours, in response to an email or written communication that’s sent out to all your employees.

3. When your employees swap shifts voluntarily.

4. When there’s a reduction of hours because employment has been terminated.

5. When their schedule changes because of a ticketed event or hotel banquet that happens after the schedule is posted and is due to circumstances out of your control.

6. Emergency conditions, which include threats to yours or the employees’ property where a public utility fails, fire, flood or any other natural disaster.

Predictability pay is difficult for employers to manage on their own, which is why Deputy easily integrates with a number of payroll partners, making the payroll process easier than ever. Deputy’s scheduling software also allows you to input premium pay rates with any shift, all in accordance with the local guidelines of your area.

Nine hours rest between shifts

There’s also the requirement that your employees are able to turn down (without facing any consequences) an opening shift that’s within nine hours of a closing late shift.

These are known as clopening shifts and your employee can agree to work them as long as they give you an agreement in writing. If your employee decides to work a clopening shift, you must pay them $40.00 for every shift on top of their usual pay.

You can avoid this situation entirely by setting a no clopening shift rule within your Deputy profile’s scheduling component.


You’re also required to keep records for two years that prove that you’ve been complying with the Philadelphia Fair Workweek. This includes:

  • Estimates of work schedules in the good faith estimate.
  • Employees’ written consent to work shifts.
  • Payroll records showing how much you’ve paid in predictability pay.

When employers use a scheduling platform like Deputy, they can rest assured that all of their data relating to schedules and other information are always stored for them to reference whenever they need it.

And with Deputy’s report builder, employers can extract and view data to use for reporting internal business processes as well as keeping accurate records for compliance.

For example, Deputy allows employers to compare timesheets and schedules which gives insight into who is and isn’t normally late. Employers can then quickly shift between different records to examine how all the various aspects of their business are working.

Deputy is the answer Philadelphia Employers are looking for

Deputy includes a full range of features that’ll help employers comply with the regulations set forth by Philadelphia Fair Workweek. It not only makes your business run more efficiently – but Deputy gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your business is in compliance with all regulations set forth by Philadelphia Fair Workweek.

To give Deputy a test drive, click on the link below to begin your free trial and to see why we’re trusted by brands like Amazon & Nike!


All information within this piece were taken from here.  

Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.

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Katie Sawyer
Katie is the Director of Content Marketing at Deputy. She's happiest when she can help people do more of what they love. She likes telling stories, meeting new people, and being a word nerd.
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