Restrictive Scheduling

SB 828 Passes House, Awaiting Governor's Signature


Oregon’s House passed the Fair Work Week Act (SB 828) on June 29 and it is now on the Governor's desk expected to be signed. SB 828 places restrictive scheduling requirements on employers, effectively removing the flexibility in scheduling to deal with unpredictable markets, weather, large scale events and employees who call in sick or fail to show up for a shift. Read amendments.

The highlights of the bill:
  • It applies to retail, food service and hospitality industries only with 500 employees or more. 
  • It does not include franchises unless they have over 500 employees as a franchisee. 
  • It allows for 7 days posted schedule the first three years and then moves to 14 days. This allows the scheduling software companies time to develop programs to actually schedule employees according to the restrictions in this law. Right now, no company can offer software to comply with this law. 
  • If an employer changes an employees’ schedule within the 7 days is posted, they would pay that employee an hour of “predictability pay”. 
  • There is no penalty to employees for changing their schedule with the seven day posted schedule window. 
  • Employees can place themselves on a voluntary standby list to be called in case there are shift openings. 
  • Employers need to keep records for three years on scheduling employees. 
  • There is a 30 minute allowance for employees to stay longer on a shift if needed (this is mostly for servers who are trying to close out a table and keep the tips they would collect) and employers cannot schedule employees within 10 hours of their last shift (a practice commonly referred to as a “clopening” if it occurs when an employee closes late one night and then returns early the next morning. Some employees actually prefer this type of schedule however). 
  • Finally, employers must provide employees with a good faith estimate of the hours they will work when they are hired.​
Surveys have shown employees come to work in the hospitality industry specifically because of the flexibility of schedules and the ability to go to school, spend time with family or work another job that is not during traditional workday hours. Maintaining flexibility with scheduling actually results in employees having more hours to work and/or more flexibility for time off requests to be accommodated.

As these restrictive scheduling bills moved through the Oregon House and Senate, ORLA shared several important pieces of information with lawmakers to help convince them this extreme legislation is bad for employees and employers. 

Portland Restaurant Workers Survey
A recent survey conducted by ORLA of Portland area restaurant employees about their work environment shows 85% of respondents say the way their job is scheduled allows them to choose how they spend their time and enjoy life. Among other findings in the survey summary:
  • 84% say they can talk to their employer or manager and give input about the work environment, scheduling needs and what employees need to do a good job at work
  • 89% say there is no change needed or only minor change needed to improve the effectiveness of how often employers change the work schedule
Review of San Francisco’s FRE Ordinances
A recent report on the restrictive scheduling law in San Francisco shows after almost one year, employees and employers are generally unhappy with the law due to lack of flexibility and freedom to make lifestyle choices. Additionally, Formula Retail Employees (FRE) in need of extra income are having more difficulty adding extra work hours. Read the full report.

We Work For Oregon
A new website, WeWorkForOregon.com, highlights the issues faced by employees and employers around the proposed scheduling laws and encourages industry members to let elected officials know why this legislation is bad. ORLA is part of a broader business coalition of local employees and employers working together to fight this legislation.

EPI Report
The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released Weighing Priorities for Part-Time Workers in May 2016 as an early evaluation of San Francisco’s restrictive scheduling ordinance. The study shows 35% of employers have become less flexible with employee schedule changes, 21% are offering fewer part-time positions, and 17% are offering fewer jobs across the board.

The restrictive scheduling bill will make it particularly challenging for the restaurant community given that many external factors, beyond the control of restaurant operators, can have significant impacts on the operations on any given day, which is why the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association was opposed to the bill. Read our position letter.