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The Philadelphia Fair Workweek Law

September 28, 2023 General

How It Protects You

With the rise of “Just in Time” scheduling practices, many companies schedule their employees based on customer demand.

What this means is that across the country, many workers receive their schedules on very short notice, face abrupt cancelations, and are asked to be on call with no compensation. This leads to income volatility, disruption of social and family ties, and real difficulties in planning and managing a life.

This problem affects workers in many different industries, but it is especially acute for hourly workers in hospitality, service, and retail. Fortunately, lawmakers in some areas are taking notice of this problem. A number of cities have passed “Fair Workweek” ordinances to bring some stability to workers’ schedules and lives. One of those is Philadelphia.

Philadelphia has one of the strongest Fair Workweek laws in the country. Here’s how it protects you.

What’s in Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek Law?  

Under Philadelphia’s Fair Workweek Law, employers in service, retail, and hospitality are required to provide a predictable work schedule with 14 days of advance notice. This legislation is primarily aimed at large international employers with 250 or more workers and 30 or more locations worldwide. It also applies to franchises and chains.

The specifics include:

The right to a predictable work schedule. Your company should give you an estimate of your work schedule upon hiring, including an estimate of your average hours per week and a list of the days and times of shifts you can expect.

Your company should provide your schedule a minimum of 14 days in advance, in writing or posted in a place where you can see it.

The right to predictable pay. If your employer changes your schedule more than 24 hours after posting it, they have to pay you “predictability pay” to minimize paycheck volatility.

If you’re asked to work more hours than originally scheduled, you get an extra hour of pay in addition to normal pay for all hours worked. You also get an extra hour if your employer changes the date, time, or location of your shift.

If you’re asked to work fewer hours, your employer has to pay you half your regular hourly wage for any hours you don’t work.

The right to refuse work. Under the law, you have the right to turn down work. You can decline to work more hours than officially scheduled, and you can also turn down shifts that start fewer than nine hours after the end of your last shift.

The right to take on more work. The Philadelphia Fair Workweek Law mandates that your employer has to offer its existing workforce available shifts before hiring new employees.

It must post new shifts in a place where they can be seen at least 72 hours before hiring new people. The notice has to contain key information such as the position description, qualifications required, the schedule and how you can accept the shifts.

Are You Being Subject to a Volatile Schedule? You Should Speak to an Employment Lawyer

If you are being subject to a volatile, unpredictable “Just in Time” employment schedule, you may have recourse in court. You should contact a knowledgeable Philadelphia employment attorney.

Your attorney will be able to assess the situation, determine whether your employer is violating the law, and help you hold your employer accountable.

Call us at 267-273-1054 or email us at for a free, confidential consultation today.

The information provided here does not constitute legal advice. It is intended for general purposes only. If you have questions about a specific legal issue, you should speak to an attorney.