Overview: Shiftwork allows employers to provide needed services on a round-the-clock basis to consumers. Some industries, e.g., hospitals and law enforcement agencies, have traditionally scheduled shiftwork for their employees. However, with the rise of the global marketplace, many organizations have found shiftwork indispensable in providing service to European or Asian clients.
Supervisors may choose to negotiate special arrangements with certain employees regarding their shift schedules. Providing employees with flexibility in the scheduling of their work may aid in an organization's retention efforts. However, employers must ensure that less desirable shifts, such as irregular or night shifts, are assigned in a fair and nondiscriminatory manner.
Trends: A growing number of states and municipalities are considering protections for shift workers that would ensure "predictive" or "secure" schedules. Employers in certain industries, such as hospitality, food service or retail, may be subject to requirements that ensure a "predictable work arrangement," or face a penalty for noncompliance.
Author: Marta Moakley, JD, Legal Editor
Retail and food services establishments that employ 500 or more employees worldwide in a calendar year, have employees who work at least 50% of their time at a fixed location within the City of Seattle's geographic boundaries and meet other requirements should include this model policy statement in their handbook.
This section of the XpertHR best practice manual discusses the importance of flexible working, the issues involved in drawing up an organizational policy and the main types of flexible working.