Retail, hospitality and food service employers with more than 500 employees will now give seven days' notice of work schedules

PARIS ACHEN/CAPITAL BUREAU - Gov. Kate Brown, center, shows signed copy of pay equity bill at the Oregon Capitol June 1, 2017. She is flanked left to right, by Sens. Tim Knopp and Kathleen Taylor and Reps. Ann Lininger and Jodi Hack. All four worked on fair work issues this legislative session.SALEM — Oregon is poised to become first in the nation to adopt a statewide law to require advance notice of employees' work schedules.

"It's going to be a national model," said Rep. Ann Lininger, D-Lake Oswego.

The House of Representatives voted 46-to-13 Thursday, June 29, to pass the legislation. The Senate approved the measure 23-to-6 June 22.

Gov. Kate Brown's signature is the final step to enact the law.

The legislation requires employers in the retail, hospitality or food service sectors who have 500 or more employees to give at least seven days' notice of a work schedule. The law would take effect July 1, 2018. By July 2020, the amount of required notice would increase to 14 days. Employers are exempt from the requirement when there are weather conditions beyond their control.

The notice gives workers more time to arrange child or elder care and juggle schedules for multiple jobs and school.

"I think that there is wide agreement that we want families to be able to provide for themselves. We want families to want to be able to have and to be able to sustain a job, and I believe this bill will make that easier," Lininger said.

Employers may not schedule workers for shifts without a minimum of a 10-hour reprieve in between.

"I think it promotes safety as well as people's good health," said Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Clackamas, who owns two McDonald's franchises in Portland. "On the business side, I support this because I believe it will make Oregon a leader in the development of this policy."

When employers fail to give the mandatory notice, they will be required to pay penalty compensation to the employee.

Employees who wish to work last-minute shifts or shifts that are closer than 10 hours apart to earn more income may join a standby list. Employees on the standby list who voluntarily pick up last-minute shifts will not receive the penalty compensation.

Workers who think their employer has violated the law may file a complaint with the Bureau of Labor and Industries or a civil complaint.

Rep. Greg Barreto, R-Cove, who voted against the bill, said Oregon's policies are "picking winners and losers."

"In this regard, maybe a Plaid Pantry that has a different model in the way it is set up and has more than 500 employees is different from say a 7-Eleven that has the individual stores," Barreto said. "Whether they have a certain number of employees, we pick and choose. Whether they are in retail, hospitality and food service versus other industries, we pick and choose."

Paris Achen
Portland Tribune Capital Bureau
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