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Unstable Schedules: A Thing of the Past for 50,000 More Fast-Food Workers

July 5, 2024 | Employment Law

Los Angeles City Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez introduced a motion to provide more stable scheduling and paid time off for the city’s fast-food workers, aiming to expand the 2022 Fair Work Week ordinance.

Many fast food workers struggle with planning their lives around a last minute work schedule, missing appointments and family events, enhanced by the stress of wondering just how many hours they will be paid for in the following week.


The proposal faced immediate opposition from the Save Local Restaurants coalition, including restaurant owners and business groups, who argue it could increase operational costs and food prices. Business owners expressed concerns about having to raise menu prices and potentially close locations due to the increased costs.


The proposal follows the statewide AB 1228 law, signed by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2023, which set a $20 per hour minimum wage for fast food workers and reportedly increased job numbers in the sector. Franchise owners reported having to cut employee hours and raise prices due to previous wage increases, expressing frustration over potential new costs.


California’s Fair Work Week law, also known as the Fair Scheduling Law, aims to provide employees with more predictable work schedules and fairer treatment in the workplace. It primarily applies to retail, hospitality, and restaurant industries.


Key provisions of the law include:


Advance Notice: Employers must give employees advanced notice of their work schedules. This notice period starts at least 7 days before the first shift on the schedule and increases to 14 days starting in 2022.


Right to Rest Between Shifts: Employees have the right to a minimum rest period between shifts without penalty. If they are scheduled to work shifts that are too close together, they must be paid extra.


Right to Request Changes: Workers can request changes to their work schedule without fear of retaliation from their employers.


Equal Treatment: Employers cannot favor certain employees in scheduling practices based on race, gender, or other protected characteristics.


Penalties for Non-compliance: Employers who violate these provisions may face penalties, including fines.


Overall, the Fair Work Week law in California aims to create more stability and fairness for hourly workers by addressing issues related to unpredictable schedules and providing employees with more control over their work-life balance.


An additional 50,000 workers would benefit from the city’s Fair Work Week law if the proposal is adopted.


If you are treated unfairly at work, contact us online, or call (310) 706-2596.


Our team has over 20 years of experience in representing only employees in cases against their employers.


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