New Jersey’s latest proposed workplace mandate would require certain employers to give employees advance schedules and restrict the time periods in which they can be changed. The bill, S-921 or the “New Jersey Fair Workweek Act,” was introduced Monday.
The bill would apply to employers with 250 or more employees worldwide and require them to post each employee’s work schedule at least 14 days in advance of the “start of the work period the schedule covers.”
Additionally, employers would be required to give prior notice of any revisions within the posted schedule and post the revised schedule within 24 hours. An employee would be allowed to decline to work any shifts that are not posted in such a manner, and they could receive “predictability pay” for any work schedule change that occurs after the advance notice has been provided.
The bill would make it illegal for employers who discharge or threaten employees in retaliation for exercising their rights under the bill. It would also authorize the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development or the Attorney General to bring a civil action against an employer who violates these provisions if the employee does not.
NJBIA opposes the bill.
“Today’s proposal is yet another strike against small business owners who already have to contend with an increasing minimum wage, enhanced paid sick and family leave laws and added energy and regulatory costs,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka, Esq. “All of this cumulatively adds to their expenses, shrinks their slim profit margins and challenges New Jersey’s business climate, affordability and competitiveness.”
In addition to the schedule posting, the bill would require employers to:
- provide a good-faith estimate of the employee’s projected schedule.
- work in good faith to accommodate employee requests to change a schedule
- pay one-and-a-half times the employee’s normal rate if an employee starts a new shift within 12 hours of completing their previous shift;
- increase the shifts of existing employees, within the limits of the law, before hiring new employees capable of performing the same tasks;
- keep records detailing compliance with these requirements, and for those records to be accessible to the employees concerned; and
- post yet another notice in the workplace.