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Ore. considers scheduling limitations

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Last-minute shift changes would require restaurants to pay affected employees for at least four hours, whether the time was worked or not, under bills likely to be heard next week in the Oregon legislature.

The measures would also require restaurants to present new hires with an idea of how many hours they would likely be working per week, and to set labor schedules at least two weeks in advance.

Employers would be banned from setting “clopenings,” or requiring the same employees who close a restaurant from reopening the establishment on the next morning.

The measures, one in the House and one in the Senate, are the latest in a wave of so-called secure scheduling bills. The laws have already been adopted in San Francisco and Seattle, and a proposal similar to Oregon’s is under consideration in New York City.

Oregon’s bills would exempt small restaurants, a move intended to protect mom-and-pop operations.

Unions and labor advocates have set secure scheduling as a legislative priority for 2017, now that many areas have adopted increases in their minimum wage.

The Oregon measure is opposed by the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, which contends that the constraints on employers are unrealistic. It notes such contingencies as the sudden onset of bad weather or a local sports team advancing or being eliminated in a playoff series. 

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