Philadelphia Fair Workweek Award FAQ

Q: Which employers are covered by Philadelphia Fair Workweek?

A: The law covers three different industry segments:

  1. Retailers that have 30 or more locations worldwide, and employ 250 or more employees. Includes independently owned franchises if franchisor's brand meets 30-location and 250-employee requirement;
  2. Food-service establishments that have 30 or more locations worldwide and employ 250 or more employees. Includes independently owned franchises if franchisor's brand meets 30-location and 250-employee requirement; and
  3. Hospitality industry employers that have 30 or more locations worldwide and employ 250 or more employees. Includes independently owned franchises if franchisor's brand meets 30-location and 250-employee requirements.

Q: Which employees are covered by Philadelphia Fair Workweek?

A: Nonexempt employees who have job duties that involve providing retail trade, food or hospitality services.  

Q: When does the law go into effect?

A: April 1, 2020 but the predictability pay requirement for schedule changes is not currently being enforced due to COVID-19. Other aspects of the law ARE however being enforced.

Q: What is a good faith estimate and how does it work in Deputy?

A: Upon hiring, employers must provide new hires with a good faith estimate (GFE) of what their typical work schedule will look like.  The GFE must contain all of the following information:

  1. The average number of work hours the employee can expect to work each week over a typical 90-day period; 
  2. Whether the employee can expect to work any on-call shifts; and
  3. The days and times the employee can typically expect to work, or the days of the week, and shifts the employee will not be scheduled to work.

Q: How do I provide a GFE in Deputy?

A: Deputy has a brand new GFE tool that employers may use to populate the GFE and publish it to employees. The GFE tool may also be used to revise a GFE if the employees hours of work do not match the original GFE. July 1, 2020 is the deadline to provide GFEs to all existing employees! 

Q: Do I ever need to issue an updated GFE to the employee?

A: Yes.  Employers must issue a revised GFE when there is a significant change in the employee’s work schedule due to the employee's availability or the employer's business needs.   

Q: Will Deputy notify me when I need to issue an updated GFE?

A: Currently, no.  It is up to each employer to monitor their employees’ hours worked, and manually issue an updated GFE via the newsfeed if there has been a significant change. Our Product team is working hard on V2 of the GFE tool, which will notify employers when a new GFE is required.

Q:  When do I provide a new hire’s first work schedule?

A: Employers must provide new hires with a copy of their initial written schedule on or before their first day of work.  The initial work schedule must include all shifts they are scheduled to work through the end of the currently posted work schedule.

Q: How far in advance must I publish work schedules?

A: All work schedules (except the initial schedule for a new hire) must be posted at least 10 days in advance.  This will change to 14 days starting on 1-1-2021.  It is up to the employer to know the advance notice requirement and to publish schedules in Deputy far enough in advance to comply with the law.

Q: What if I need to change the schedule after the 10-day notice period?

A: Employers must provide employees with notice of schedule changes as promptly as possible and prior to the changes taking effect. Employers are required to revise the posted schedule within 24 hours of making the change.

Q: Is employee consent required for a schedule change?

A: Yes.  Employers cannot require employees to work any changed shifts without written or electronic consent. To obtain consent, employers should offer the changed shift to the employee and request that they accept it electronically in Deputy.  

Q: Do I have to pay employees premium pay if I change their work schedule?

A: Yes, if an employee’s schedule is changed after the 10-day advance notice period, they are entitled to predictability pay.  Deputy automatically applies predictability pay for employer-initiated changes to an employee's work schedule as follows:

  • One hour of predictability pay at the employee’s hourly rate of pay, when the employer adds time to a work shift, or changes the date or time or location of a work shift, with no loss of hours.
  • Half times' the employee's hourly rate of pay for any scheduled hours the employee does not work because hours were subtracted from a regular or on-call shift, or a regular or on-call shift was cancelled.

Q: What if an employee changes their own schedule (e.g. by swapping shifts in Deputy with another employee)?

A: No, predictability pay is applied for employee-initiated schedule changes in Deputy.

Q: What if an employee calls their manager and asks the manager to change their schedule in Deputy?

A: Predictability pay is not owed since the change was requested by the employee.  In order for this to work in Deputy, the manager should tell the employee to go into Deputy and make the change.  Alternatively, the manager can make the change, and then will need to manually remove the predictability pay from the employee’s roster.

Q: Are there any circumstances where Deputy will not apply predictability pay automatically?

A: Yes.  In the following circumstances, no predictability pay will be applied:

  • Employee-initiated changes (e.g. swapping shifts in Deputy);
  • Changes made to the schedule within 24 hours of posting (grace period allowed under the law);
  • Changes of 20 minutes or less;
  • Hours subtracted due to termination of employment (***Employer must first discard employee in Deputy before deleting their shifts; otherwise the system won’t know they’ve been terminated and predictability pay will be auto applied).

Q: What is the “access to hours” requirement?

A: Employers must offer available shifts to current employees before hiring new employees. The offer must be in writing and must remain open for 72 hours unless a shorter period is necessary. The notice must include a description of the position and qualifications, length of time coverage will be needed, schedule of available shifts, and how to accept the offer. 

Q: How do I comply with the access to hours requirement using Deputy?

A: Employers may provide offers of available shifts to their employees using the newsfeed feature.  Employees may then respond via the newsfeed if they wish to bid on all or a portion of the offered shift(s).  Employers may then award shifts to employees by using the “offer shift” feature in Deputy and the employee should then accept the offered shift.  It is important for employers to follow this workflow to avoid predictability pay being inadvertently applied. 

Q: What is the clopening requirement in the Fair Workweek law?

A: A clopening happens when an employee is scheduled to work any hours that are scheduled less than 9 hours after the end of a previous day’s shift, or during the 9 hours following the end of a shift that spanned 2 days.  Employers must obtain written or electronic consent from an employee prior to scheduling them for a clopening.  They must also pay a clopening premium of $40 per shift.

Q: How do I obtain consent for a clopening?

A: Deputy recommends using the offer shift feature to offer a clopening to an employee.  They may then accept or decline to work the clopening shift.  If they accept, Deputy will automatically apply the clopening premium.

Q: Does the law require me to retain records?

A: Yes.  The Ordinance also mandates that employers maintain records for two years that show compliance with the Fair Workweek law, including good faith estimates of work schedules, modifications tp GFEs, written consent to work shifts, offers of work shifts to existing employees and responses to those offers, as well as payroll records showing predictability pay.  Such records must be produced if requested by an employee or the enforcement agency to be designated. 

Q: What will Deputy provide if I am audited?

A: Deputy will provide employers with a copy of their Deputy records upon request. Employers may also create numerous reports within Deputy to provide to auditors.  

Did this answer your question?