Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, San Francisco passed a law designed to prevent employers from scheduling workers with little notice.
The law, also known as the Worker Bill of Rights, was passed by the San Francisco’s City Council and combines two pieces of legislation containing five provisions designed to make it easier for hourly workers at many of the city’s restaurants and stores.
KTIC explains the law will require employers to post schedules two or more weeks in advance and restrict these businesses from hiring new employees before giving additional hours to existing part-time employees. Additionally, the law will require employers to pay employees for any hours where they are put on call, even if the shift is ultimately canceled.
A writer for Vox argued that the absence of such laws can make life very tough for workers who have to schedule their work around other life commitments like children and other jobs. Uncertain hours also mean unpredictable income.
However, some experts see such a law as having profoundly negative outcomes for businesses and employees alike.
“Anyone who has ever run a lemonade stand knows this won’t work,” Michael Saltsman, a research director at Employment Policies Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Saltsman predicts that the law will cause employers to give their employees less hours. Before a business may “staff up” or hire more part time workers to accommodate busy days or shifts, they will be less likely to do so knowing they may be penalized if they had to change the schedule at the last second because they got less or more customers then what they expected.
The law will also likely lead to worse service because fewer people than needed will be working a given shift.
“The net result is there is going to be fewer opportunities created,” Saltsman added.
The Friday after Thanksgiving is a particularly busy time for retail employees.