How to Avoid Compliance Lawsuit Headlines Like “NYC Sues Chipotle for Over $150M”
by Justin Siu
May 4, 2021
That was the headline last week and the latest in a series of labor law compliance suits against Chipotle. While they’ve been sued for violations of child labor laws and missed meal breaks in the past, the latest lawsuit was due to alleged violations of the city’s Fair Workweek Law. New York City enacted the law for fast-food workers in 2017 to provide part-time employees with predictable schedules and protect them from unfair work scheduling practices. Many cities and states across the United States have similar laws, including Oregon, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Chipotle is accused of violating the law in several ways, including engaging in last-minute schedule shift changes and requiring employees to work clopening shifts without premium pay. According to the New York City complaint, “Chipotle failed to produce certain categories of scheduling information the department requested, in part because it had destroyed paper schedule records.” Any organization that relies on paper-based schedules and attestation is sure to face compliance challenges. The labor law rules vary by state and are next to impossible to adhere to using manual, paper-based processes.
New York City’s Fair Workweek requirements are extremely complex. The rules vary by the amount of notice provided, such as less than 14 days, 7 days, or 24 hours. Premium pay calculations also vary based on whether hours were added, modified, or removed. And companies must calculate some premiums in dollars but others in hours.
Legion’s AI-powered workforce management platform automatically manages all of this complexity, saves managers time, and ensures employees are paid properly.
Good Faith Estimates
Predictable scheduling laws require employers to provide new employees with an estimate of their work schedules prior to the employee starting work. Legion WFM makes it easy to communicate and acknowledge the estimate. It’s easy for managers to use the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) template to create and send an estimate, and employees can review and acknowledge it. The GFE content and the employee read-receipt and confirmation are in the GFE report, along with details including the date sent, who viewed and acknowledged it, and when it was acknowledged.
Before using Legion WFM, a national quick-service restaurant required managers to print GFE paper forms, get employees to sign them, and then store the paper form. Using the Legion WFM good faith estimate template, the company eliminated the manual paper-based process, saving time and effort. Now managers can easily send good faith estimates to employees and streamline record keeping.
Automated Compliance and Schedule Notification
Legion WFM enables managers to automatically create fully-compliant schedules in advance as mandated by specific scheduling requirements. Managers automatically receive warnings as they get closer to the schedule creation due date. And Legion’s AI-based forecasting creates precise labor forecasts that minimize schedule changes once the schedule is created.
Meal breaks and rest breaks are automatically scheduled for the correct duration and at the right time. And Legion’s AI-based demand forecasting and labor optimization ensure appropriate staffing and meal and rest break staggering, so employees can take their required breaks.
Managers can edit the AI-generated schedule, but Legion WFM will alert them if an edit introduces a compliance issue, such as clopening, or it causes overtime; the manager can correct the issue before they publish the schedule. Legion WFM will perform end-to-end checks from schedule warnings before schedule publication to compute premium pay automatically based on employee clocks – and not just the schedule. The Legion WFM Time and Attendance module automatically checks the actual clocks and assesses meal break and rest break premiums based on location-specific break rules.
Managing Schedule Changes While Maintaining Compliance
Schedule changes are bound to happen – an employee may call out sick or have an emergency. Legion WFM helps managers accommodate last-minute changes and maintain compliance. A manager can convert an assigned shift to an open shift. The Legion WFM AI-based scheduling automatically suggests the most appropriate employees to work the shift based on compliance factors, employee preferences, and even productivity factors. Employees can also quickly and easily swap shifts with co-workers without compliance risk. Managers can approve the swaps with the confidence that the Legion WFM AI-powered scheduling has analyzed the swap for any compliance risk.
Capture All Schedule Changes and Automatically Calculate Premium Pay
Legion WFM tracks all schedule changes and stores employee approval, eliminating paper forms and manual processes that can lead to mistakes and compliance issues. The Legion WFM Time and Attendance module automatically calculates premium pay which saves managers time, ensures employees get paid correctly, and maintains compliance.
With Legion WFM, administrators can configure custom schedule change premiums by location and choose whether a particular type of change requires a premium or not. For example, an employee-requested schedule change won’t trigger a premium payment. In the Legion WFM time clock, administrators can set the default reason for schedule changes to “employee consent.” Managers can edit the reason in the timesheet when needed.
Legion’s AI-generated schedules automatically ensure there are no clopening issues in the schedule. But, suppose a manager makes a manual edit to a schedule that would require an employee to work a consecutive closing and opening shift with less than the required number hours of rest, Legion WFM displays a warning flag, and the manager can correct it.
Legion WFM schedule-aware clocks automatically flag schedule changes and clopening violations, record employee consent, and attestation. It captures and stores employee consent forms electronically, eliminating cumbersome paper-based processes. The Legion WFM timesheet automatically computes clopening premiums in hours or dollars based on location-specific rules.
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