Oregon is now the first state in the country to require that employers give workers their schedules at least a week in advance.
Governor Kate Brown, a Democrat, signed the measure on Tuesday. It was passed by the state legislature in June.
“While DC has lost sight of working Americans, Oregon lawmakers came together this session to help workers balance life and their job with the first statewide Fair Work Week bill,” Brown said on Facebook last week.
The new law takes aim at on-call scheduling, whereby employees are tapped to work on short notice. This often causes workers’ schedules to fluctuate a great deal, and makes planning for child care and transportation more difficult.
It’s a particularly common practice for workers in lower-wage industries, such as fast food and retail.
One in six Oregonians receive less than 24 hours of notice before their shifts, according to a survey the University of Oregon Labor Education and Research Center published in February.
Now, Oregon is mandating that the state’s largest employers in the retail, hospitality and food service industries — those with more than 500 workers — give employees their schedules in writing at least a week ahead of time.
They’ll also have to give workers a 10-hour break between shifts, or pay them extra.
The law goes into effect in July 2018.
Starting in 2020, affected employers will have to give workers their schedules two weeks in advance.
“It will lead to a happier and healthier workforce which is a victory all Oregonians,” said state Sen. Tim Knopp, a Republican who backed the effort. “It is important that businesses can operate under one set of scheduling guidelines [statewide].”
Similar bills have become law in cities like Seattle, San Francisco and New York.
But Oregon is the first state to enact such a statute.
“This is a huge moment for labor rights in America,” said Hannah Taube, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Working Families Party, which supported the bill. ” … We hope Oregon is the first of many states to expand scheduling protections for workers.”