Work Flexibility Policy in the United States
Fair Workweek Ordinance (passed | predictability). Passed in October 2016 and to go into effect July 2016. Requires large retailers to give employees schedules two weeks in advance, to give extra pay for shifts on short notice, and to offer extra hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new staff.
Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance of San Francisco (passed | right to request). Passed by the Board of Supervisors under Board President David Chiu, the FFWO went into effect on January 1, 2014. Employees in San Francisco (at companies of 20 or more) now have the right to request a flexible or predictable work arrangement to assist with caregiving responsibilities. Employers must respond within three weeks of the request.
Retail Workers Bill of Rights (passed | predictability). Sponsored by Board Supervisor Eric Mar, this legislation went into effect January 5, 2015 and promotes predictable schedules for hourly workers at San Francisco’s retail stores, restaurants, and banks, as well as fair treatment for part-timers.
Opportunity to Work (passed | part-time). Passed on the ballot of the Nov 8 2016 election. Requires employers to offer extra hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new staff.
Flexible Work Time Initiative (proposed | right to request). This proposal to give employees in Berkeley the right to request flexibility was on the Berkeley ballot in November 4, 2014. As of January 27, 2015, it has been referred to the Labor Commission, the first step in getting a law passed.
Senate Bill 416 (passed | right to request). As of September 1 2016, all New Hampshire employees have the right to request work flexibility for any reason and without the fear of retaliation or retribution.
New York City
Freelance Isn’t Free (passed | freelancers). Passed October 2016 (awaiting Mayor’s signature). Requires written agreements for the timeline and payment of freelance work, with penalties for employer violations.
Fair Workweek (proposed | predictability). New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio is expected to introduce legislation to curb unrpredicatble schedules for fast food workers.
FlextimeNYC (proposed | right to request). New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is promoting right to request legislation for New York City and beyond.
Equal Pay Act (passed | right to request). As of January 1, 2014, all Vermont employees have the right to request a flexible work arrangement for any reason. Employers must grant the request unless it is “inconsistent with business operations or its legal or contractual obligations”.
Secure Scheduling (passed | predictability). Adopted on September 19 2016. Requires employers of retail and food service employees to provide workers with a good-faith estimate of hours upon hiring, work schedules two weeks in advance, and compensation for workers if their hours are changed or if they’re asked to work back-to-back shifts that prevent adequate resting time.
Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 (passed | telework). President Obama signed this act into law requiring all federal agencies to establish telework policies for federal employees.
Multi-State Worker Tax Fairness Act of 2016 (proposed | telework tax law). Introduced in April 2016, this bill would eliminate what’s known as the “telecommuting tax penalty“—taxation by both the state in which a telecommuter works (from home), as well as the state in which their employer is based.
Schedules That Work Act [S.1772] (proposed | predictability & right to request). Introduced in July 2015, largely the same text as the Schedules That Work Act [H.R. 5159].
Schedules That Work Act [H.R.5159] (proposed | predictability & right to request). Introduced in July 2014, with the intention of giving workers the right to request a flexible, predictable, or stable schedule, without fear of retaliation.
Working Families Flexibility Act of 2015 [S.233] (proposed | time off in lieu). This bill sought to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow employers to pay workers nothing for overtime work; instead, workers would get time off in-lieu of overtime payment. This time off would be granted at the employer’s discretion (for example, during less busy periods when co-workers can pick up the slack).
Working Families Flexibility Act of 2007 [S. 2419] (proposed | right to request). This bill would have allowed employees to request from their employer a change in (1) the number of hours the employee is required to work; (2) the times when the employee is required to work; or (3) where the employee is required to work. Requests would be made without fear of retaliation.
NB: Our Election 2016 page kept tabs on the presidential candidates’ stances on issues related to work flexibility.
[Last updated Nov 10 2016]