Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen) has introduced Senate Bill 921 dubbed, The New Jersey Fair Work Week Act.

The bill regulates how business with 250 or more employees schedule their workers.

The bill would require an employee to provide a written request of his or her preferred schedule, upon hire.  It would similarly require the employer to provide a “good-faith estimate” of the employee’s projected schedule.

The bill also requires an employer to provide employees’ schedules at least 14 days prior to the start of the work period.  They must give notice of any revision of the posted schedule, and an employee may decline any hours that were not included in the original posting. The bill also provides for employees to receive “predictability pay” for any work schedule change that occurs after the abovementioned advanced notice has been provided.

Employers must pay “each employee a minimum weekly pay not less than an amount nine times the employee’s regular hourly wage,” regardless of how many hours are worked, unless the employee declines the requisite number of hours in writing. 

An employee may at any time request a change in their schedule.  Employers must engage in an “interactive process” and have a “bona fide business reason” to deny any such request.  Employers may not discriminate in favor of employees who are available to work more hours, by paying them a higher hourly rate, or for promotional opportunities.   

Compliance with this legislation would be enforceable with the “wage theft” penalties enacted last year, including joint and several liability for contracting entities supplying labor to the client employer.

The bill was introduced in response to complaints by employees in food service and retail industries.

NJCJI is participating in a coalition being organized by the Restaurant Association.  Please contact Alida Kass if you would like more information about the legislation.