LA City Council approves Fair Work Week ordinance

The Los Angeles City Council voted to approve the Fair Work Week ordinance Tuesday, which guarantees retail and grocery workers have two weeks advance notice of schedules and compensation for canceled or on-call shifts. 

The ordinance will impact 70,000 retail and grocery workers citywide and is expected to go into effect April 2023.

The ordinance guarantees: 

  • Fourteen day advance notice of work schedules
  • Predictability pay for last minute schedule changes or canceled shifts
  • The right to accept or decline extra hours added on short notice
  • Mandatory "rest periods" (workers will have at least 10 hours rest between shifts or will be given additional pay)
  • The right to request scheduling accommodations (right to decline shifts that do not satisfy that requirement, even if their employers offer them overtime pay)
  • Employees will receive a "good faith estimate" for their work hours and will be offered additional hours prior to new/temporary workers being hired

Employees will not be required to find coverage for scheduled hours if they are unable to work for a reason covered by other laws. Employers would also be required to offer additional hours of work to current employees before hiring new workers.

Employers could be fined up to $500 per penalty for violating the ordinance, with the amount payable to the employee.

"This is a hard-fought, historic victory for Los Angeles retail workers," said Amardeep Gill, Director of the Grocery & Retail campaign at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). "When we launched the Fair Work Week LA campaign five years ago, we envisioned a Los Angeles retail economy that provides reliable jobs and stable incomes for working families. Today we are one step closer to that reality: retail workers will finally be able to plan their budgets, care for their families, and juggle work and school." 

According to UFCW 770, the retail industry is the second-largest employer in Los Angeles and 77% of workers have unpredictable, last-minute work schedules. 

Other major cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, New York and Oregon have passed similar policies.

Final approval of the ordinance is expected early next week.