Predictive scheduling laws require employers to post schedules ahead of time, and restrict the ability to make last minute changes.  California doesn’t have any statewide predictive scheduling laws.  Prior attempts to introduce them have failed. 

Yet, Oregon has such a law.  It applies to employers in the retail, hospitality and food industries with 500+ employees worldwide.  Washington D.C., Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia also have similar laws.  Each has different thresholds, different scheduling notice requirements, and applies to retail plus other industries (all with very specific definitions). 

The lack of a statewide law in California leaves cities here to their own thing.  The trend began in northern California with predictive scheduling ordinances for certain businesses in San Francisco, San Jose, Berkeley, and Emeryville.  And for the first time in southern California, Los Angeles, just passed the Retail Fair Workweek Ordinance which is awaiting final approval from outgoing Mayor Gil Garcetti. 


If approved the Retail Fair Workweek Ordinance will take effect on April 1, 2023.  Covered employers are retail businesses under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) that employ 300 employees globally.  Individuals employed through staffing agencies, and employees of certain subsidiaries and franchises count towards the 300 person total.  Among other things, these requirements will require employers to provide schedules two weeks in advance, and penalize employers who are unable to adhere to provided schedules.

The impending passage of this Ordinance in Los Angeles invites comparison to some existing Ordinances in other California cities.


San Francisco’s Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinance applies to retail establishments with at least 40 locations worldwide and 20 or more employees in San Francisco.  

The term “retail establishment” is defined loosely to cover many businesses.  An employer is considered a retail establishment if it maintains at least two of the following features: a standardized array of merchandise, a standardized facade, a standardized decor and color scheme, uniform apparel, standardized signage, a trademark, or a servicemark.  A food establishment may be considered a retail establishment in San Francisco.

In addition to applying to retail establishments, the provisions apply to property services contractors (e.g., janitorial and security services) for work performed in San Francisco at a retail. 

This poster summarizes the key provisions that apply in San Francisco for additional hours, schedules, predictability pay, pay for on-call shifts, part-time workers, and retention. 


Emeryville’s Fair Workweek Ordinance applies to retail firms with 56 or more employees globally, and fast food businesses with 56 or more employees globally and 20 or more employees within Emeryville. The term “retail firm” is defined narrowly and includes department stores and specialty retailers.  A fast food firm is one that does not serve alcohol and that requires patrons to pay before they eat.

More information about Emeryville’s Ordinance is found here, along with this helpful poster that explains advance notice, right to rest (no “clopenings”), the right to notice, right to decline, and compensation for schedule changes, and the offer of work to existing employees.


Berkeley’s Fair Workweek Ordinance has a much lower threshold, and applies to businesses in Berkeley that employ 10 or more employees.  This includes any agent of the employer, including a temporary service or staffing agency. 

Berkeley employees are allowed to request a flexible or predictable work schedule.  Employers who receive a request must meet with the requesting employee within 21 calendar days of the request, and must consider and respond to the employee’s request in writing within 21 calendar days of the meeting.

In Berkeley, employees can request flexibility in their schedule twice a year or in response to a major life event. 


Though San Jose’s Opportunity to Work Ordinance is not, strictly speaking, a predictive scheduling law, the ordinance does require employers to offer additional work to existing qualified part-time employees before hiring new employees or subcontractors (including temporary workers).  Businesses subject to the law include employers of 36 or more employees. 


Predictive scheduling is the trend, and it is likely coming to a city near you.  Even if not required, a predictive schedule enables workers to plan their lives.  In a tight job market, employers who cut hours at the last minute, or change schedules frequently, will suffer from high turnover and associated costs.  So you might want to get ahead of the curve. 

Happy holidays and happy scheduling!

Thank you to Cheryl Spound for her assistance with this post!