500,238 91.4% 71.7% 53.3% 174,786 Total 174,786

Notes:?San José’s Opportunity to Work Ordinance went into effect on March 13, 2017.

San José’s Opportunity to Work Ordinance went into effect on March 13, 2017. The total number of covered workers is calculated by first multiplying the total city employment by the private-sector share of total employment in the San José-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA metropolitan statistical area (MSA), and then multiplying that result by the national share of workers who are hourly. Calculations are made using unrounded numbers. Since the law applies to businesses with 36 or more employees and the data only allow us to consider firms with 50 or more employees, we are likely underestimating the number of covered workers. Further, since the law applies to establishments with 36 or more employees worldwide and we are using firms with 50 or more employees in San José-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA MSA, we are likely further underestimating the number of workers impacted.

Source:?EPI analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s?Quarterly Workforce Indicators (2016) and from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (2016) and Current Population Survey (2017)

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City of Emeryville, California: Fair Workweek Ordinance (July 2017)

Emeryville’s Fair Workweek Ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2017 (City of Emeryville n.d.; Emeryville City Council 2016). It requires employers to provide employees with an estimate of average weekly work hours prior to start of employment, two weeks’ notice of schedules, and compensation when the employer makes changes to the posted schedule, and it allows employees to decline last-minute shift additions. Employers must also offer additional hours to existing employees before hiring new staff. The law guarantees employees 11 hours’ rest period between shifts and a protected right to request scheduling accommodations. This ordinance applies to retail firms with 56 or more employees globally and to fast-food firms that employ 56 or more people globally and 20 or more people in Emeryville.

The impact analysis for Emeryville’s Fair Workweek Ordinance is based on city government estimates (City of Emeryville 2016). These estimates indicate that approximately 2,500 workers are impacted (Table 1).

City of Seattle: Secure Scheduling Ordinance (July 2017)

Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2017 (Seattle Office of Labor Standards n.d.). It requires employers to provide employees with an estimate of average weekly hours prior to start of employment and to periodically update the estimate. Employers must provide two weeks’ notice of schedules and compensation when the employer makes changes to the posted schedule and must allow employees to decline last-minute shift additions. Employers must offer additional hours to existing employees before hiring new staff. The ordinance also guarantees 10 hours of rest between shifts. Employees have a protected right to provide input into their work schedules without retaliation; employers have to evaluate and respond to work schedule requests. If the requests are based on accommodating caregiving obligations, education, a second job, or the employee’s own health needs, the employer must provide a bona fide reason for rejecting the request. This ordinance applies to hourly employees of retail businesses, fast-food establishments, and some sit-down restaurants, with 500 or more employees worldwide.

To determine the number of people impacted by Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance (Table 3), we first calculate the total number of workers in the retail and fast-food industries in the city of Seattle using 2015 and 2016 data from the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC 2017). PSRC provides data on the number of workers in the accommodation and food services industries in Seattle. In order to estimate the subset of these workers who are employed in fast food, we multiply the total number of workers in the accommodation and food service industries in Seattle by the share of accommodation and food service workers that work in fast-food restaurants, calculated at the county level using QCEW data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The resulting total industry employment numbers are recorded in Table 3, column 1. We then multiply by the share of workers in the retail trade and accommodation and food service industries that work in firms with 500 or more employees, using 2016 QWI data at the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA level. Finally, we multiply by the share of workers who are nonsupervisory in each industry, calculated at the national level using 2016 Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey data, to produce our estimate of the total covered workforce, 39,860. We round this number to 40,000 in Table 1. Since the law applies to establishments with 500 or more employees worldwide and we are using firms with 500 or more employees in the MSA, we are likely underestimating the number of workers impacted.

Table 3

Number of workers covered under Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance

Industry Total industry employment Share in firms with 500+ employees Nonsupervisory share of industry employment Total covered workers
Retail trade
60,658 70.4% 84.9% 36,246
Fast food 12,519 32.7% 88.4% 3,613
Total 39,860

Notes:?Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2017.

Seattle’s Secure Scheduling Ordinance went into effect on July 1, 2017. The total number of covered workers in each industry is calculated by first multiplying the industry’s total employment in Seattle by the share of employees in that industry that are in firms with 500+ employees (the accommodation and food service share is used for fast-food restaurants), and then multiplying that result by the share of employees in that industry that are nonsupervisory employees. In all cases, “share” refers to the share in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Calculations are made using unrounded numbers. Since the law applies to establishments with 500+ employees worldwide and we are using employers with 500+ employees in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA MSA, we are likely underestimating the number of workers impacted.

Source:?EPI analysis of data from the Puget Sound Regional Council, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators (2016), and?the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (2016) and Current Employment Statistics (2016)

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State of Oregon: Fair Work Week Act (August 2017)

Oregon’s Fair Work Week Act was enacted on August 8, 2017 (Oregon House Democrats 2017). This law requires employers to provide employees with an estimate of work hours prior to their start of employment and two weeks’ notice of schedules (phasing in from one week on the effective date to two weeks a year later). It also mandates compensation for changes to the posted schedule and protects employees from retaliation when they request scheduling accommodations. The act prohibits last-minute shift additions without the employee’s consent and gives employees the right to 10 hours of rest between shifts. Oregon’s law applies to hourly employees of retail, hospitality, and food service firms with over 500 employees worldwide.

To determine the number of people affected by Oregon’s Fair Work Week Act (Table 4), we take the number of workers in the retail trade and accommodation and food service industries in Oregon, as reported in the QCEW for 2016, and multiply by the share of each industry’s workforce in firms with 500 or more employees nationwide from the QWI data. We then multiply by the national share of workers who are nonsupervisory in each industry, calculated at the national level using 2016 Current Employment Statistics data, for a final estimate of 171,582. We round this number to 172,000 in Table 1. Since the law applies to establishments with 500 or more employees worldwide and we are using the share of firms with 500 or more employees nationwide, we are likely underestimating the number of workers impacted.

Table 4

Number of workers covered under Oregon’s Fair Work Week Act

Industry Total industry employment Share of workers nationally in firms with 500+ employees Nonsupervisory share of industry employment Total covered workers
Retail trade
204,902 64.9% 84.9% 112,791
Accommodation & food services
173,640 38.3% 88.4% 58,791
Total 171,582

Notes:?Oregon’s Fair Work Week Act went into effect on August 8, 2017.

Oregon’s Fair Work Week Act went into effect on August 8, 2017. The total number of covered workers in each industry is calculated by first multiplying the industry’s total employment in Oregon by the share of employees in that industry that are in firms with 500+ employees nationally, and then multiplying that result by the share of employees in that industry that are nonsupervisory employees. In all cases, “share” refers to the share in the state of Oregon. Calculations are made using unrounded numbers. Since the law applies to businesses with 500 or more employees worldwide and we are using the share of firms with 500+ employees nationwide, we are likely underestimating the total affected workforce.

Source:?EPI analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s?Quarterly Workforce Indicators (2016) and from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (2016) and Current Employment Statistics (2016)

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New York City: Fair Workweek Law (November 2017)

New York City’s Fair Workweek Law went into effect on November 26, 2017 (NYC DCA 2017a, 2017b). It requires fast-food employers to provide employees with an estimate of weekly hours, days, and times of work prior to their start of employment and two weeks’ notice of schedules. It also mandates compensation for changes to the posted schedule and guarantees 11 hours’ rest between shifts. Employers must also offer additional hours to existing employees before hiring new employees. It applies to employees at fast-food chains with at least 30 locations in the U.S. who perform any of the following tasks: customer service, cooking, food or drink preparation, delivery, security, stocking supplies or equipment, cleaning, and routine maintenance. The Fair Workweek Law also requires retail employers to provide employees with 72 hours advance notice of schedules, and it forbids last-minute shift additions without the employee’s consent, last-minute shift cancellations, and on-call shifts. This law applies to retail employees of firms with 20 or more employees in New York City.

To determine the number of people impacted by New York City’s Fair Workweek Law (Table 5), we first calculate the total New York City employment in retail trade and fast food from the 2016 QCEW (column 1). For retail trade, we multiply by the share of employment with 20 or more employees (column 2), according to the 2016 QWI data for the New York City MSA, to get an estimate of 264,567 retail workers covered. For fast food, we multiply that by the share of workers in that industry who are nonsupervisory (column 3), calculated at the national level using 2016 CES data, to get an estimate of 62,396 fast-food workers covered. Because the legislation impacts all retail trade employees at firms with 20 or more employees, we do not adjust by the nonsupervisory share of employment for retail trade employees. Our total estimate of the number of workers covered under New York City’s Fair Workweek Law is 326,963. We round this number to 327,000 in Table 1.

Table 5

Number of workers covered under New York City’s Fair Workweek Law

Industry Total industry employment Share in firms with 20+ employees Nonsupervisory share of industry employment Total covered workers
Retail trade
344,246 76.9% 264,567
Fast food
70,598 88.4% 62,396
Total 326,963

Notes: New York City’s Fair Work Week Act went into effect on November 26, 2017.

New York City’s Fair Work Week Act went into effect on November 26, 2017. The total number of covered workers in each industry is calculated by multiplying the industry’s total employment in New York City by the nonsupervisory share of employment for employees in that industry. Because the legislation impacts all retail trade employees at firms with 20 or more employees, we do not adjust by the nonsupervisory share of employment for retail trade employees. In all cases, “share” refers to the share in the New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA MSA (NY part). Calculations are made using unrounded numbers.

Source:?EPI analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s?Quarterly Workforce Indicators (2016) and from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (2016) and Current Employment Statistics (2016)

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Impact of recently passed right-to-request laws

Vermont, New Hampshire, and San Francisco have enacted fair workweek laws known as “right-to-request” laws, which protect the right of all workers to have a voice in their schedules. At a minimum, these laws prohibit retaliation against workers who request flexibility in their work hours or work location. In some cases, employers are also required to respond to requests in writing.

While we cannot measure all aspects of the economic impact of these protections, we can estimate the number of people who now enjoy greater legal protections when requesting flexible scheduling because of these laws. As shown in Table 6, these fair workweek laws now cover more than 1 million workers in the two states and one city where they have been enacted thus far. (This is likely a conservative estimate, as explained in the methodological discussions below.) The largest impact is in New Hampshire, where approximately 614,000 workers have gained additional protections under the law. Coverage levels for all localities are listed in Table 6.

Table 6

Number of people impacted by recently passed state and local right-to-request laws

Jurisdiction Laws Industries covered Number of workers covered
San Francisco Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (January 2014) Private sector 177,000
Vermont Flexible Working Arrangements Statute (January 2014) Private sector 299,000
New Hampshire Act Relative to Flexible Working Arrangements in Employment (September 2016) Private sector except for nonprofit, agricultural, seasonal, and domestic work 614,000
Total 1,090,000

Notes: Estimate for San Francisco is calculated as shown in Table 7. Vermont’s Flexible Working Arrangements Statute covers all private-sector employees in Vermont. New Hampshire’s law covers all private-sector employees in New Hampshire, except for nonprofit, agricultural, seasonal, and domestic work employees.

Estimate for San Francisco is calculated as shown in Table 7. Vermont’s Flexible Working Arrangements Statute covers all private-sector employees in Vermont. New Hampshire’s law covers all private-sector employees in New Hampshire, except for nonprofit, agricultural, seasonal, and domestic work employees. The total number of New Hampshire employees covered is calculated using total private-sector employment, excluding the nonprofit, agriculture, and private household industries, and excluding 3 percent?of employees in the following seasonal industries: scenic and sightseeing transportation; performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries; museums, historical sites, and similar institutions; and amusement, gambling and recreation industries.

Sources: For San Francisco, estimates are from EPI analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2016) and Quarterly Workforce Indicators (2016) and from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (2016) and Current Population Survey (2017). For Vermont and New Hampshire, estimates are from EPI analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Quarterly Workforce Indicators (2016).

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San Francisco: Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (January 2014)

San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2014 (San Francisco OLSE n.d. “FFWO”).?When an employee requests flexibility to care for a dependent, this law requires the employer to meet with them within three weeks and then respond to the request in writing within three weeks of the meeting. If the employer denies the request, it must be in writing and based on a bona fide business reason, and the employer must allow the employee to seek reconsideration. The law also prohibits retaliation against employees who request flexibility. The law covers all private-sector employees in businesses with at least 20 employees worldwide.

To determine the number of people impacted by San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance (Table 7), we first calculate the city’s total employment using American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates for 2012–2016. We then multiply that by the private-sector share of total employment in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA MSA from the 2016 QCEW. We then multiply by the share of employment in these industries in firms with 20 or more employees, according to the 2014–2016 QWI data for the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA MSA. Finally, we multiply that by the national share of workers who are hourly from the 2017 Current Population Survey, to get our estimate of 177,372 total covered workers. We round our estimate to 177,000 in Table 6. Since the law applies to establishments with 20 or more employees worldwide and we are using firms with 20 or more employees in San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA MSA, we are likely underestimating the number of workers impacted.

Table 7

Number of workers covered under San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance

Industry Total city employment Share in the private sector Share of private-sector employment in firms with 20+ employees Share of workers who are hourly Total covered workers
Private sector 488,560 87.1% 78.2% 53.3% 177,372
Total 177,372

Notes:?San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2014.

San Francisco’s Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance went into effect on January 1, 2014. The law covers all employees in businesses with at least 20 employees.?The total number of covered workers is calculated by first multiplying the total city employment by the private-sector share of total employment in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA metropolitan statistical area (MSA), then multiplying by the?share of private-sector employment in the MSA in firms with 20+ employees, and then multiplying that result by the national share of workers who are hourly. Since the law applies to establishments with 20 or more employees worldwide and we are using firms with 20 or more employees in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA MSA, we are likely underestimating the number of workers impacted.

Source: EPI analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2016) and Quarterly Workforce Indicators (2016)?from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (2016) and Current Population Survey (2017)

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Vermont: Flexible Working Arrangements Statute (January 2014)

Vermont’s Flexible Working Arrangements Statute went into effect on January 1, 2014 (Vermont General Assembly n.d.). This statute requires employers to consider employees’ requests for flexible schedules in good faith at least twice per calendar year. Employers must notify employees of their decision and must put their denial in writing if the request was made in writing. The statute also prohibits retaliation against employees who request flexibility. This law applies to all private-sector employees in Vermont.

To determine the number of people impacted by Vermont’s Flexible Working Arrangements Statute, we simply use the number of total private-sector employees for 2016 from QWI, which is 299,116. We round this number to 299,000 in Table 6.

New Hampshire: Act Relative to Flexible Working Arrangements in Employment (September 2016)

New Hampshire’s Act Relative to Flexible Working Arrangements in Employment (SB416) went into effect on September 1, 2016 (New Hampshire General Court n.d.). This statute requires employers to consider employees’ requests for flexible schedules in good faith at least twice per calendar year. Employers must notify employees of their decision in writing and provide a reason if the request is denied. The statute also prohibits retaliation against employees who request flexibility. This law applies to all private-sector employees in New Hampshire, except for nonprofit, agricultural, seasonal, and domestic work employees.3

To determine the number of people impacted by the New Hampshire right-to-request law, we simply use the number of total private-sector employees for 2016 from QWI, excluding the nonprofit, agriculture, and private household industries, and excluding 3 percent4 of employees in the following seasonal industries: scenic and sightseeing transportation; performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries; museums, historical sites, and similar institutions; and amusement, gambling, and recreation industries. The total number of covered workers is 614,199. We round this to 614,000 in Table 6.

Conclusion

Lawmakers in other states and cities are working to enact fair workweek protections similar to those enacted by these state and local governments. The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance, which was introduced to the Chicago City Council in June 2017, would require all employers in Chicago to give advance notice of schedules to their employees and would require that these employees be compensated for any last-minute schedule changes (Chicago Office of the City Clerk 2017). In Philadelphia, city council members are considering a fair workweek ordinance similar to the comprehensive fair workweek laws passed in Seattle and Oregon (Lozano 2018). If these laws are enacted, they will ensure that even more workers have predictable, stable, and healthier work schedules—and, in some cases, increased opportunities to work full time.

In the same way that campaigns for higher minimum wages, paid sick days, and paid family and medical leave have highlighted the need to update labor standards to reflect today’s economy, we hope and expect that lawmakers in more jurisdictions will also recognize that stable, predictable, and adequate work hours are essential to ensuring that workers, families, businesses, and communities can thrive.

Endnotes

1. For greater detail on these practices, see CPD 2018.

2. Because of data limitations, exact numbers of subcontracted building service workers are not included and the estimate of San Francisco workers impacted is therefore likely underestimated.

3. Nonprofit, agricultural, domestic, and seasonal workers are excluded under the definition of “employee” in Chapter 275, Section 36, of the New Hampshire Labor Code.

4. Three percent is the estimated share of workers in these industries who are seasonal employees.

References

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Bureau of Labor Statistics. Various years. Current Population Survey (CPS) [public data series]. Aggregate data from basic monthly CPS microdata are available through three primary channels: as?Historical ‘A’ Tables released with the BLS Employment Situation Summary, through the?Labor Force Statistics database, and through?series reports.

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Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). 2018. A Fair Workweek: Good for Businesses and Workers (fact sheet). March 2018.

Chicago Office of the City Clerk. 2017. Amendment of Municipal Code by Adding New Chapter Entitled “The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance.” Document no. O2017-4947. Introduced June 28, 2017.

City of Emeryville. 2016. “Attachment 2: Covered Employer Lists.” Fair Workweek Ordinance – First Reading. File # ID-2016-607. Emeryville City Council agenda for October 18, 2016.

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Emeryville City Council. 2016. Ordinance No. 16—An Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Emeryville Adding Chapter 39 to Title 5 of the Emeryville Municipal Code, “Fair Workweek Employment Standards,” and Amending Sections 3-1.108 and 3-1.141 of Chapter 1 of Title 3 of the Emeryville Municipal Code, “Business Taxes.” Passed and adopted November 1, 2016.

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Oregon House Democrats. 2017. “Oregon Passes Bill Giving Workers a Fair Work Week: SB 828 Requires Large Employers to Provide More Notice, Predictability of Schedules” (press release). June 29, 2017.

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Williams, Joan C., Susan J. Lambert, Saravanan Kesavan, Peter J. Fugiel, Lori Ann Ospina, Erin Devorah Rapoport, Meghan Jarpe, Dylan Bellisle, Pradeep Pendem, Lisa McCorkell, and Sarah Adler-Milstein. 2018. Stable Scheduling Increases Productivity and Sales: The Stable Scheduling Study. University of California Hasting College of the Law, University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, and UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.


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