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Los Angeles employers must give work schedule estimates

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2023 | Wage & Hour Laws

Retail employees often face unpredictability in their work schedules which costs them time and money.  Effective April 1, Los Angeles will join other jurisdictions by enforcing local wage and hour laws requiring good-faith estimates of work schedules.


The Fair Work Week ordinance covers retail businesses with at least 300 employees worldwide, including franchises. It protects employees who qualify for minimum wage and work at least two hours of their workweek in Los Angeles.  

Employers must give workers a written and good faith estimate of their schedule before hiring and within 10 days of a request from a current employee. New employees must receive notification of their ordinance rights.

Employers violate the ordinance if the employee’s actual work hours diverge substantially from their estimate unless the employer has a written and valid business reason that was unknown when they provided the estimate.

Employers need to give 14 days advanced notice of their schedules before the schedule’s first day. Any later changes must be written.

Employers cannot hire new employees, contractors, and temporary employees unless they offered additional hours and shifts to qualified current workers. Employers must post a notice of available shifts at least 72 hours before hiring new employees. Current workers have 48 hours to accept this offer.

Employers can hire new employees to meet greater demand if no current employees are qualified, no current employees volunteer or using these employees requires overtime.


Workers are entitled to premium pay if their employer changes their schedule. Employers must pay one additional hour of pay if the schedule pay results in no loss time or additional work time over 15 minutes. Changes resulting in a work loss require compensation at half of the employee’s regular rate of pay for the lost work time.

Employers must provide premium pay if:

  • An employee requested the schedule change
  • An employee accepts a change made by the employer because of another employee’s scheduled absence
  • An employee accepts more hours offered under the ordinance’s access to hours provision
  • A law or unexpected event impacts business
  • The extra scheduled hours require overtime

Employers must provide at least 10 hours of rest between shifts unless the employee gives written consent for a schedule beginning less than 10 hours after an earlier shift. These workers are entitled to time and a half for each shift separated less by than 10 hours.


Written warnings will be issued for 180 days after the ordinance takes effect. Later, penalties may include:

  • Payment of minimum wages and sick time benefits unlawfully withheld
  • Payment of up to $120 to each employee for each day of the violation
  • Employment reinstatement
  • Reasonable attorneys’ fees
  • Monetary penalties to the city