Predictive scheduling is one of the next big issues on the Labor agenda, but if House Bill 243 is signed into law, Georgia small business owners will be protected.
HB 243, which is sponsored by Rep. Bill Werkheiser and passed the House on Feb. 22, will prohibit local governments from mandating predictive scheduling requirements on businesses. This proposal was developed in response to similar ordinances passed at the local level by cities across the country.
Under predictive scheduling laws, employers are required to set employees’ work schedules well in advance, typically about 25 days minimum. If the schedule changes after that point, the employer would have to pay the employee for the lost or adjusted time. For example, if a restaurant receives a reservation for a large party, the employer would have to schedule additional wait staff to handle the booking. However, if the reservation is later canceled, negating the need for additional workers, the employer would still be required to pay the wait staff for that time.
All types of small businesses would be impacted by a predictive scheduling mandate, but HB 243 would be a preemptive strike against it. Georgia law already prohibits local governments within the state from regulating several issues—such as health benefits, sick benefits, and retirement benefits—and HB 243 would simply add scheduling to that list.
“We are very happy with the passage of HB 243, which will help protect Georgia small businesses, employers, and employees from government intrusion and burdensome regulations,” NFIB/GA State Director Nathan Humphrey said. “Business owners know their employees, customers, and industry better than government does. Each individual business is different, and one-size-fits-all mandates only hurt businesses and, ultimately, their employees and customers. HB 243 will give businesses additional protections so that they can focus on growing their businesses and creating jobs. We appreciate Rep. Bill Werkheiser’s work on this issue and thank him for sponsoring this legislation.”