How 3 Retailers Simplified Compliance with Complex Labor Laws

It’s fair to say that business owners and managers have a lot on their plates on any given day. But one of the most complex jobs is making sure your business is compliant with strict federal, state, and city labor laws. From overtime pay and work hour limits to meal and rest breaks, there is a lot to keep track of. 

Compliance management is even more complex for retailers with multiple locations across different cities or states. If you’ve set up shop in California, you may have to pay premiums for missed breaks, split shifts, and 7th consecutive workdays. Got a location in New York or Chicago? You may be affected by fair workweek laws, which require advance notice of schedules and premium pay for late changes.

Without the right tools, many retailers struggle to navigate all these different labor laws. They spend countless hours manually checking pay calculations, tracking whether breaks occurred, and trying to figure out where to apply overtime.

Today, we’re looking at how three businesses have simplified their approach to labor laws — and the impact they’ve seen on employee retention and their business’ productivity.

Trek Bikes

Trek Bikes had a problem that any retailer would love to have: they were experiencing such a huge demand for their products that they could barely keep up. The “bike boom” of the last few years meant that sales in their retail stores were “astronomical.” With that, came ripe potential for expansion: more stores, more staff, and more to manage. 

That rapid growth brought a key challenge: they needed to keep up with new and unique labor laws as they expanded into different cities and states. For retailers in California, there are complex meal and rest break laws to manage. For locations in New York City, there are scheduling laws like Fair Workweek to think about.

In mid-2019, Trek began searching for a solution. But it turned out that one of their teams on the other side of the world, in Australia, had already found one: a platform for employee scheduling and compliance management developed in a market with similarly complex labor laws. 

With this software, the team has simplified compliance as they grow across the U.S. They’ve also dramatically streamlined their processes for onboarding, scheduling, and paying their teams, which has led to a 30% increase in productivity.  

Tom Spoke, their Global Director of IT-ERP, says, “Labor laws continue to come up as we get into new states. Deputy is making sure we have all our ducks in a row in terms of staff schedules and having the right labor laws in place. That’s all stuff that our retail managers shouldn’t have to think about.” 

Partners Coffee

From their retail offering to their quality brews across their cafe locations, Partners Coffee offers some of the best roasted coffee in the Big Apple. Managers beam at the sight of customers interacting in their shops and bringing joy to the start of their customers' day with a delicious cup of joe. 

They understand every delightful customer experience is possible because of their hardworking team. This is why they take great pride in providing their team with work schedules that match their preferences and provide a healthy work-life balance. 

However, managing schedules across five locations with a tool that didn’t have streamlined integrations and functionality for employees to request leave became tricky. In addition, they wanted to ensure they met New York’s Fair Workweek laws so that they could give their employees as much notice as possible about where and when they would be working.

After searching for a new system, they found one that was a good fit to help them fill these gaps. The software's features allow managers to create schedules at record speed, which gives their team enough time to enjoy life outside of work and come back happier — which has significantly improved staff retention. In addition, they were able to save 130 hours of admin work per year. 

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Proper Cloth

Proper Cloth is a pioneer in the made-to-order fashion space. Like many other retailers, one of their top priorities is creating an attentive customer experiences, with fast service and short customer wait times.

To ensure this is possible, they need to fine-tune their employee schedules to exactly match customer demand in their showrooms, from the busy periods to the slower hours in store. But this became a little more complex with the introduction of New York City’s Fair Workweek law for retail, which requires that employee schedules are sent out far enough in advance, among other requirements.

So the team at Proper Cloth needed to visualize customer demand far ahead of time, plan their staffing to match, and give their teams enough notice of their shifts.  

To manage these challenges, they tested many different solutions. Eventually, they landed on a digital platform that helped them align staff schedules with demand and simplify compliance management in one place. With the software, managers have saved hours on scheduling and thousands of dollars every week. 

Their Head of Showrooms, Dennis Novak, is happy to report that the move to this new system has also made it much easier to manage state laws for meal and rest breaks. On top of that, he says that it has been a huge win for the employee experience. 

“Some feedback we received by using Deputy and complying with Fair Workweek is people do a lot more with their free time because they're not stressed out about their schedule. They know when they're working, they know when they're done with work, and they can plan their lives.”

One of their team members, Client Advisor Dwight Young, adds that it’s been a  “game-changer”.

See how Deputy can help you simplify labor law compliance

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Remove compliance stress from your plate

With so much to keep track of when it comes to labor laws — and high stakes on the line — it pays to invest in tools that simplify compliance management. These systems have transformed how retailers can manage compliance and keep their businesses running smoothly.

Want to see how compliance management software can help you stay on the right side of the law? Get in touch with our team and see how Deputy makes it simple.