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Podcast: Is Predictive Scheduling the Next Big Thing?

Hosted by: David Weisenfeld

This podcast takes an in-depth look at one of the most notable workplace trends of 2017, predictive scheduling. Laws have been sprouting up that require a certain amount of notice to employees before any scheduling changes are made. New York City, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle are among the big cities to enact predictive scheduling laws, and Oregon recently passed the first statewide predictive scheduling measure.

Littler shareholder Bruce Sarchet, a member of the firm's Workplace Policy Institute, says predictive scheduling measures have arisen to help workers in retail jobs, fast food and other industries where schedules can vary widely to achieve a better work-life balance. Addressing the flurry of legislative action surrounding predictive scheduling, Sarchet calls it another example of the "municipalization of employment law."

Sarchet acknowledges that predictive scheduling measures are attempting to address a real issue, but says, much like the Family and Medical Leave Act, "The devil is in the details." He suggests unintended consequences could arise, including more of a move to automation by employers, and less reliance on employees, as predictive scheduling measures increase. Nonetheless, it's a trend that Sarchet predicts is here to stay and could impose a burden on employers with multi-state, multi-city operations.