NJBIA's Public Policy Forum: The Road to Recovery REGISTER

In addition to being a burden on small businesses, a bill to limit how employers can change employees’ schedules would take away the kind of flexibility employees like, according to a leading New Jersey employer association.

In an op-ed published by ROI-NJ, Marilou Halvorsen, president of the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association, argues that a “one-size-fits-all approach to regulating restaurants fails to recognize the unique needs of individual businesses, employers and workers.”

Citing a recent Gallup poll to bolster her argument, Halvorsen said more than two-thirds of hourly workers say variable work hours do not cause them financial hardship and 69% are satisfied with their weekly hours. She also noted that 85% of schedule changes, including the kinds of changes addressed in this bill, come at the request of employees, not management.

Additionally, the bill fails to recognize what employees want. For instance, the bill would essentially prohibit employers from scheduling employees for double shifts, but Halvorsen notes that many employees would prefer to work two double shifts instead of four single shifts.

“Instead of addressing the bad practices of a few, we take a sledgehammer to the entire business community and its employees, again!” Halvorsen writes.

NJBIA also opposes the bill.

Among other things, New Jersey Fair Workweek Act (S-921) would require certain employers to post each employee’s work schedule at least 14 days in advance of the start of the work period the schedule covers and give at least 24 hours’ notice to the employee of any changes to the schedule. An employee would be allowed to decline to work any shifts that are not posted in such a manner, and they could receive “predictability pay” for any work schedule change that occurs after the advance notice has been provided.