This post was written by Candace Chewning, Outreach and Communications Director for the Office of Benefits and Wage Compliance.


In response to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Office of Benefits and Wage Compliance will not be enforcing predictability pay as of the April 1, 2020 effect date of the Fair Workweek law until further notice. However, employers are still expected to comply with other portions of the law. The City, through the Office of Benefits and Wage Compliance, will continue to work with businesses on compliance during this difficult and constantly-evolving situation. 

 

Starting April 1, 2020, the Fair Workweek law requires covered employers to provide service, retail, and hospitality workers with a predictable work schedule and other protections. Covered employers include those with 250 or more employees worldwide and 30 or more locations worldwide. 

Learn more about the law by visiting our Fair Workweek resources page.

What is Predictability Pay?

Predictability pay is compensation employers must provide to employees for employer-initiated changes to their posted work schedule. 

Covered employers are required to post employee schedules 10 days in advance of the workweek. Changes to this posted schedule that come from an employer’s request is an employer-initiated change.

Employer-initiated changes include when an employer: 

  • Reduces hours. 
  • Changes a scheduled work location.
  • Adds additional hours after receiving employee consent. 
  • Makes changes to an on-call shift, including not calling an employee in to work. 

The chart below shows how the law determines how much an employer must pay for each change to the advance notice requirement. 

Change made: Predictability Pay:
Employer adds time to work shift, with no loss of hours One hour at Employee’s rate of pay
Employer changes the date of a work shift One hour at Employee’s rate of pay
Employer changes the time of a work shift One hour at Employee’s rate of pay
Employer changes the location of a work shift One hour at Employee’s rate of pay
Employer subtracts hours from a regular or on-call shift No less than one-half times Employee’s rate of pay per hour, for any scheduled hours the Employee does not work
Employer cancels a regular shift or on-call shift including not calling in to work. No less than one-half times Employee’s rate of pay per hour, for any scheduled hours the Employee does not work

*half the time the employee did not work

 

What are the exceptions to predictability pay?

Covered employers are not required to provide predictability pay under the following exceptions:

  • An employee requests a shift change by written communication including calling out sick, requesting off, using vacation, or other schedule needs.
  • Employees mutually agree to a shift trade or swap.
  • An employer’s operations cannot begin or continue due to threats to the employees or the employer’s property; failure of a public utility or the shutdown of public transportation; a fire, flood or other natural disaster; a state of emergency declared by the President of the United States, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or Mayor of the City; or severe weather conditions that disrupt transportation or pose a threat to employee safety.
  • An employee begins or ends work no more than twenty minutes before or after the scheduled start or end time of the shift.
  • An employee volunteers to work additional hours in response to a written mass communication from the employer. The written mass communication exemption is applied for additional hours that resulted from another employee being unable to work scheduled hours. For example, a call out. The written mass communication must make clear accepting hours are voluntary and employees have the right to decline.
  • An employee’s hours are subtracted due to termination.
  • Changes are made to the posted work schedule within 24 hours after the 10 day advance notice of work schedule requirement.
  • When an employee’s hours are subtracted for disciplinary reasons such as a suspension. The employer must document in writing the incident leading to the disciplinary action
  • A ticketed event is cancelled, scheduled, rescheduled, postponed, delayed, increases in expected attendance by 20 percent or more, or increases in duration, due to circumstances that are outside the employer’s control and that occur after the employer provides the 10 day advance notice of posted work schedule requirement. This exception only covers event employees, and, for example, would not exempt housekeepers from being paid predictability pay. 
  • A hotel banquet event is scheduled due to circumstances outside the employer’s control, after the employer provides the 10 day advanced notice of posted work schedule. This exception only covers banquet employees, and, for example, would not exempt housekeepers from being paid predictability pay. 

As with all provisions in the law, employers should document exemptions to predictability pay for two years. 

The Mayor’s Office of Labor will be posting a Frequently Asked Questions guide for the Fair Workweek law on our resources page

Contact us. Employers can request compliance assistance or ask questions, and employees can find out if they are covered or request training by contacting the Office of Benefits and Wage Compliance at 215-686-0802 or fairworkweek@phila.gov.