How Retailers Can Tackle Predictive Scheduling Laws
If you haven’t yet heard about predictive scheduling, you certainly will soon.
Predictive scheduling laws require businesses that utilize part-time labor to post their schedules days or weeks in advance, and attaches stiff penalties, whether they’re fines or penalty pay to employees, when last-minute changes are applied to schedules. These laws vary by city or by state, with New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and others all implementing different variations.
For example, San Francisco requires employers to provide labor schedules 14 days before shifts start, and gives employees the right to turn down any hours not included in their original schedule without concern that retaliation will take place. New York City requires employers to give employees 11 hours off between shifts and enforces a $10 to $75 penalty pay to employees if their schedules change within two weeks of a shift.
While there are clear benefits that employees reap from these laws, there are a wide variety of complexities that make these laws difficult for retailers. They don’t account for replacements for employees that call in sick, as penalities would have to be paid in order for the shifts to be filled. Keeping track of these laws is also incredibly complicated. It’s difficult enough to keep track of employee schedules, penalties paid, and other critical data if you have stores in only one of these locations, but if you have stores in Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, and more, then it becomes impossibly difficult to effectively manage.
With these laws gaining traction, and with twelve states considering variations of these laws, it’s imperative for retailers to create plans to handle this increased complexity. And the best of these plans always involve implementing a workforce management solution.
Preparing for Predictive Scheduling
Spreadsheets and paper-based scheduling processes were already difficult to maintain, but with these new laws, getting rid of them is a must.
With a workforce management solution, these outdated processes can be shifted to a web-based scheduling system that optimizes labor schedules and communicates them effectively to employees. A web-based scheduling system also helps with the recordkeeping that these laws require. With Seattle’s predictive scheduling laws requiring three years of recordkeeping to show compliance, instead of saving binders upon binders of paper-based schedules, digital schedules can be easily stored and organized, cutting down on the risk of noncompliance because records are incomplete.
Generating highly accurate labor forecasts is also critical to minimizing last-minute schedule changes, and with steep fines issued for these changes, accurate forecasts save far more in labor spend than before. This doesn’t only involve accounting for customer traffic, weather patterns, and other external forces, but also employee preferences, availabilities, and proficiencies. When all of these are factored into labor schedules, there are fewer schedule changes, fewer misalignments between labor and task workload, and fewer employee call-offs. This keeps retailers contending with predictive scheduling laws from incurring massive fines as a result of noncompliance.
As these laws gain momentum, it’s essential to find the tools to meet the challenge. With a robust workforce management solution, retailers can handle the complexity of predictive scheduling laws, creating the optimized labor schedules and accurate labor forecasts they need to succeed.