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Another city puts limits on restaurant scheduling

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Emeryville, Calif., has followed the lead of San Francisco and Seattle in requiring restaurateurs and other employers to set workers’ schedules at least two weeks in advance of a shift.

The legislation follows the pattern of most so-called secure scheduling proposals by prohibiting employers from hiring new people before more hours are offered to workers already on the payroll. It also outlaws what organized labor has dubbed “clopenings,” or an opening shift paired with the prior night’s closing shift. Employees working the last shift of the business day will be guaranteed rest time before having to report to work again.

When a worker’s schedule is changed within the two weeks leading up to a shift, the employer pays a penalty to the affected employee.

If the change is proposed seven days before the shift, the employee can refuse to be scheduled for more hours.

The new law is aimed at chain businesses. Employers with fewer than 56 employees or 12 locations nationwide are exempted.

A similar law is pending in New York City and Oregon.

Secure scheduling measures have become a cause for organized labor, which argues that unpredictable schedules subject workers to uncertainty about their income from month to month.

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