- Two Walmart employees filed a class-action lawsuit against the retailer on July 18, alleging that Walmart’s scheduling policies violated Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek Law.
- The plaintiffs alleged that Walmart failed to provide predictable schedules with at least 10 or 14 days’ advance notice; changed employees’ schedules at the last minute; required hourly employees to work shifts on two consecutive days without at least nine hours off between shifts; and failed to offer new shifts to current employees before hiring new employees.
- “We take the requirements of the Philadelphia Fair Workweek ordinance seriously and have policies in place to comply with it,” Randy Hargrove, spokesperson for Walmart, said in an email. “We will respond to the lawsuit as appropriate once we are served with the complaint.”
Only a small handful of jurisdictions have enacted predictive scheduling laws, and though each law’s provisions may be similar, their requirements vary significantly in terms of coverage, restitution and penalization.
Philadelphia’s law, for example, covers retail, hospitality or food service establishments that employ 250 or more employees and have 30 or more locations worldwide, including franchises and chains. Covered employers are required to, among other things, schedule nine hours of rest between certain shifts unless the employee provides written consent and the employer provides $40 of additional compensation per such shift worked.
Chicago’s Fair Workweek Ordinance, meanwhile, covers a larger range of sectors and grants covered employees the right to decline shifts that start less than 10 hours after the end of a previous shift. If covered workers agree to work such a shift, however, they are paid at 1.25 times their base pay rates.
The July 18 class action is the first such complaint against an employer under the Philadelphia law, according to a statement from Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, which forms part of the plaintiffs’ representation in the suit.