Los Angeles the Latest City to Adopt Fair Work Week Measures

  • Effective April 1, 2023, Los Angeles retail businesses with at least 300 employees must comply with a new Fair Work Week ordinance.
  • This regulation requires covered employers to provide a good faith written estimate of employees’ hours worked prior to hiring and within 10 days of request.
  • The ordinance contains a variety of other record-keeping and work-planning obligations, and mandates bonus payments for shift changes.

Los Angeles, California recently joined Berkeley, San Francisco and Emeryville, California; New York City; Philadelphia; Chicago; Seattle; Euless, Texas; and Oregon as jurisdictions that have enacted “fair work week” laws. The Los Angeles Fair Work Week Ordinance applies only to retail trade Companies with at least 300 employees worldwide (including franchises). Employees of such companies who qualify for minimum wage and work at least two hours in a workweek in the city of Los Angeles are covered by the ordinance, which includes a variety of scheduling and record-keeping requirements. It is scheduled to come into force on April 1, 2023.

Valuation in good faith

Employers must give employees a written, good faith estimate of their work schedule prior to hiring and within 10 days of a current employee’s request. While regulations are expected to be issued specifying the information that must be included in the good faith estimate, other jurisdictions have required such estimates to determine the actual days the employee is expected to work and a narrow agreed period within which On these days it is expected that the employee will be scheduled. The good faith estimate also likely requires that employers disclose the days that the employee is not expected to work. Employers must inform new workers of their rights under the regulation. If an employee’s actual working time differs significantly from the good faith estimate, the regulation is in violation unless the employer has a documented, legitimate business reason that existed at the time the good faith estimate was provided to the employee was unknown.

Right to Change the Work Schedule

The regulation gives insured employees the right to request certain working hours, working hours or work location. Affected employers can accept or reject the application, provided that they inform the employee in writing of the reason for the rejection.

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Advance notice of the work plan

Employers must at least notify employees of their working hours in advance 14 calendars days before the first day of the schedule. Notification can be electronic, in person, or by posting the schedule at the workplace. Any changes to the plan initiated by the Employer, including changes in date, time or location, made after notification must be made in writing; Employees have the right to refuse changes that would add working hours or additional shifts not included in the original schedule. If an employee accepts a roster change made less than 14 calendar days before the work time, the approval must be in writing.

Access hours for current employees

The regulation prohibits covered employers from hiring new employees (including contractors and temporary workers) unless they have previously offered current employees additional hours and shifts. Insured employers are only required to offer these open shifts or hours to employees who the employer reasonably determines are qualified to perform the available work. For example, if an insured employer needs a new teller, the employer need not provide teller hours to employees who have not been trained to handle cash or use the employer’s POS system.

The regulation requires employers to post a notice of available or open shifts at least 72 hours before hiring a new employee; Existing employees have 48 hours after receiving the offer to work additional hours to accept the offer.

Employers may only hire new employees to meet increased demand if no current employees are qualified, if no one volunteers, or if the assumption of additional work by current employees requires payment of overtime (or other premiums) to current employees would.

Bonus payment for changes in work schedule

The regulation requires insured employers to pay out bonuses when they change an employee’s schedule. If the plan changes do not result in a loss of time or additional working time of more than 15 minutes, the employer owes the employee an additional wage hour at the employee’s Regular rate the payment. Changes that result in a loss of work oblige the employer to reimburse the employee for half of the employee’s regular remuneration for the lost working time. For example, if an employee was scheduled to work eight hours and the employer reduces this to four hours, the employee is owed a bonus of two hours worked.

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premium payment is not required if:

  • An employee initiates the requested schedule change;
  • An employee voluntarily accepts a change of plan initiated by an employer due to the planned absence of another employee;
  • An employee accepts additional hours offered by the employer pursuant to the Access to Hours provision of the Ordinance;
  • An employee’s hours are reduced due to the employee’s violation of the law or employer’s policies;
  • The operation of the employer is affected by law or Force majeure; or
  • Overtime requires overtime pay.

In particular, the mere consent or consent of an employee to work additional hours or shifts does not relieve an insured employer from the obligation to pay the employee’s roster change premium.

In addition, employers are prohibited from requiring an employee to cover themselves for a shift if they are unable to work for legitimate reasons.

Rest time between shifts

Employers are obliged to give employees at least 10 hours rest between shifts unless the worker agrees in writing to be assigned to a shift beginning less than 10 hours after the end of the previous shift. If an employee agrees to work a shift that begins less than 10 hours after their previous shift, they are entitled to an hour and a half for each shift that is less than 10 hours apart. Example: If an employee works from 4:00pm to midnight on Saturday and then takes a shift from 8:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday, the employee would earn an hour and a half for every 8 hours of the Sunday shift.

Penalties and Enforcement

The ordinance provides for penalties paid to both the employee and the city for violating its regulations. A prevailing employee shall be entitled to an appropriate legal or equitable remedy to remedy the violation, including but not limited to payment of minimum wage and sick pay wrongly withheld, payment of penalties of up to $120 for each employee , whose rights were violated under the Regulations, for each day that the violation occurred or continued, reinstatement and/or injunctive relief, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. In addition, a “one-off penalty for each violation,” not accruing on a daily basis, is permitted up to $500 per violation of each section of the regulation.

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In addition, the employer is liable to the city for a penalty of up to $50 per day if an employee is unlawfully withheld from wages, predictability payments, or sick pay. Additional administrative penalties of up to US$500 may be assessed for each violation.

The provisions of this penalty section do not apply to violations of the regulation that occur within the first 180 days after the entry into force of this regulation. During this time, employers may only receive written warnings.

Next Steps

Complying with predictable scheduling laws presents a variety of structural and cultural challenges for insured employers. For example, managers must be trained that they are required to complete, publish, and distribute schedules with far more notice than they may be used to. Similarly, managers need to be reminded that predictable planning laws prohibit even minor deviations from plan. Managers used to texting employees and asking employees to fill in shifts are no longer allowed to do so without first getting one written consent of the employee. Likewise, managers must ensure that employees leave on time for the scheduled end of their shift, even when they are busy. Allowing an employee to stay more than 15 minutes after the scheduled end date without an employee’s consent would be a violation and a premium for the change of schedule would be due (unless such additional working hours require overtime payment). Perhaps the most difficult thing is that managers need to understand that they simply cannot hire new staff to meet anticipated demand. Instead, they must adhere to hourly access or risk hefty fines and penalties.

The final regulation can be found here: KM_224e rm 800-20220623121154 (


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