Jul 15, 2019

How a Digital Workplace Can Help You Comply With Fair Workweek Laws

Mary Coleman was frustrated when she showed up for her scheduled shift at a Popeye’s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and was told she wasn’t needed after all. No one had told her ahead of time, so she’d traipsed all the way to work, only to have to turn around empty-handed.

“When I get to work only to be sent home again, I lose money because I have to pay for my bus fare and hours of time traveling without any pay for the day,” she says. “As a grandmother, it’s really tough to juggle all of the demands on my time.”

Scheduling issues like these represent one of the biggest headaches for hourly employees, especially those in the retail and restaurant sectors. They are proving enough of a problem around the country to give rise to a range of new legislation aimed at preventing companies from saddling workers with unpredictable or erratic work schedules, often called “fair workweek” or “predictive scheduling” laws.

Such laws are already in place or soon will be in San Francisco, New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Oregon. Massachusetts may be next. Other states are resisting the trend; Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee have all passed laws restricting municipalities from putting such laws in place.

But for those employers who already face these restrictions, soon will, or think they may in the future, it’s worth learning about the easiest, most tech-enabled way to meet their requirements: A digital workplace.

A digital workplace provides a range of tools and options for employers and employees to manage their work in a single digital ecosystem. Here are some of the ways that a robust and complete digital workplace solution, like WorkJam, can help employers meet these new laws with ease:

  • Employee self-service scheduling. A digital workplace allows employees to manage their own shifts—dropping, adding, and trading in a way that works for them. Allowing them to have more control goes a long way toward compliance with fair workweek laws.
  • Efficient communication. Much of the new legislation requires employers to give employees a certain amount of notice for schedule changes. Digital workplaces enable direct and transparent communication between employers and employees to make that type of notification as simple as possible.
  • Digital recordkeeping. Proving compliance with fair workweek laws requires maintaining a record of events as far as scheduling of and communication with employees. Digital workplaces do all that automatically, so you can rest easy.
  • Employee feedback.As employers make the changes required by the new laws, it’s essential to understand what is and isn’t working for employees. Digital workplaces have the ability to efficiently collect employees’ feedback and suggestions.

Complying with fair workweek laws is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming one. Getting started with a complete digital workplace will spare you much of the pain. Plus, if you implement a digital workplace before these types of laws go into effect in your area, you’ll be more agile ready to comply as soon as they do.

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