- Average weekly wages in industries covered by Oregon's Fair Work Week Act grew 5% faster since the law's 2017 enactment compared to historical trends, according to an analysis published this month by the nonprofit Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal, a program of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's School of Labor and Employment Relations.
- The analysis also found that the share of Oregon workers who were involuntarily employed part-time shrank at a faster rate than in other states, while employee turnover was lower and retention higher in covered industries compared to national averages.
- The law requires employers with 500 or more workers in the retail, hospitality and food services industries to adopt predictive scheduling, such as posting and providing workers' schedules in writing at least 14 calendar days in advance. "The data reveal that these policies can help more employers attract and retain workers back into industries hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic," Grace Dunn, research associate at Illinois Economic Policy Institute and co-author of the study, said in a statement.
In the years preceding the pandemic, worker advocates highlighted predictive scheduling as one of several public policy objectives aimed at securing improved working conditions, particularly for those in public-facing sectors.
Though Oregon is the only jurisdiction to adopt a state-wide law requiring some form of predictive scheduling, the concept has spread to cities in other states. That list includes Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Emeryville, California.
The laws vary in terms of their scope and requirements. Oregon's law, for example, requires employers to pay their workers a penalty if they change workers' schedules without sufficient notice. Seattle, on the other hand, specifies that an employer must pay employees at least an extra hour at their standard rate of pay if they fail to provide work schedules for 14 days in advance.
Pending a current debate at the state level, Chicago's predictive scheduling law could be enacted across Illinois, benefitting some 1.6 million workers, in affected industries — disproportionately, women, people of color and non-college educated low-wage workers, according to the study.
Business advocates have pushed back against the laws. A 2019 statement by the National Federation of Independent Business criticized predictive scheduling requirements for being burdensome to small businesses and limiting management's control over scheduling decisions and business needs.
Still, 2019 research published by scheduling software vendor Deputy found that, where predictive scheduling laws had been enacted, U.S. shift workers had fewer incidents in which their hours worked exceeded their hours scheduled.
Additionally, the laws could improve health outcomes and job satisfaction, according to the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and Project for Middle Class Renewal researchers.