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Everybody wants a better work schedule, and, in recent years, states and municipalities have taken a vested interest in aiding that cause. Predictive scheduling laws, which increase work security for hourly employees, specifically target retail and food services jobs, requiring that employers stabilize their scheduling practices.

According to HR Drive, San Francisco, Emeryville, Chicago, New York City, Oregon, Philadelphia, and Seattle have all taken a front row seat in adopting predictive scheduling laws. Though their codes vary, certain requirements remain generally universal across each area. 


Give Advanced Schedule Notice

This law is perhaps the namesake for predictive scheduling. Among almost every jurisdiction with scheduling laws, employers must give staff members advanced notice of their schedules. This obligation ranges anywhere from one- to two-weeks confirmation, and bans practices like on-call scheduling, where employers allocate a shift within 72 hours of that shift starting. Consequences for failing to give advanced schedule notice often include adding an extra hour of predictable pay to an employee’s time card.

Planning this far in advance can be challenging for many business models. From figuring out how many hours to request early on, to ensuring that all employees receive their respective schedules, managers may find themselves hard-pressed to meet deadlines and avoid fines. With so many factors to account for, creating the ideal staff schedule within a tight time frame shouldn’t be a one-man job. 

StaffFoxTM is the tool any smart scheduler needs to navigate the legal obstacles of advanced schedule notice. Your smart scheduling partner has the power to build your ideal staff schedule in seconds, catering to your schedule needs and the preferences of your staff members.  


Avoid Last-Minute Changes

On top of requiring advanced schedule notice, many predictive scheduling laws also penalize managers for altering the schedule after posting it. Some jurisdictions are more lenient than others: Chicago asks that employers confirm with their employees before making changes. Otherwise, employers are expected to pay a schedule change premium or an hour of predictable pay to affected employees.

While there are a handful of exceptions to this rule, in general, there is no grace period for changing the schedule after it has been sent out to staff members. This complicates the challenges presented by advanced notice: looking so far ahead, it’s already difficult enough for schedulers to forecast their business’ staffing requirements. If their staffing need estimates are off, they’ll be penalized whether they do or don’t adjust the schedule—either paying for over-staffing or accumulating fines.

With StaffFox, finding the right schedule the first time around or creating mutually agreeable changes with employees is easier than ever. Our app is designed to allow you to act quickly if you find any schedule changes that need to be made and communicated within a sensitive time frame. 



Spread out Shifts

Another obligation among areas with predictable scheduling laws is that shifts be scheduled with at least 10-11 hours between them. Laws like this are designed to prevent “clopening” (when an employee runs a closing and an opening shift back-to-back). They also discourage split shifts that create awkward gaps in an individual employee’s schedule. Employees who work shifts within 10 hours of each other are often entitled to overtime pay or a flat stipend from their employer. 

While a reasonable request, this added constraint puts pressure on managers especially if they’re writing up the schedule by hand. It’s one more thing they have to worry about, on top of availability, time off requests, and hour allocation. Juggling so many expectations at once, with money on the line, adds undue stress to the scheduling process.

Let StaffFox handle the balancing act of scheduling constraints. We’ll meet every staff availability and shift scheduling requirement in seconds, helping you minimize overtime costs and fees associated with predictive scheduling laws.


Provide a “Good Faith Estimate” of Hours

One final expectation in the fine print of predictive scheduling laws is the expectation that employers give new hires a “good faith estimate” of their work hours, often in writing. If this estimate changes, employers are obligated to formally notify the employee of those changes. 

While this requirement presents fewer pressing obstacles, it does serve as another legal hurdle for employers. Having to constantly revise estimates based on new employee availability or general business changes will quickly grow tiresome and painstaking.

However, with StaffFox, adding new employees to your schedule and giving them an estimate of their weekly hours will be easier than ever. You’ll be well equipped to find the extra hours you need covered and figure out how many of those sparse shifts can be allocated to new employees. 


Don’t let predictive scheduling laws get the best of you. With StaffFox, you’ll meet every deadline, and dodge every fee with ease. Try it out today, and discover your ideal staff schedule in minutes.