An Act To Adopt a Retail Workers' Bill of Rights
Sec. 1. 26 MRSA c. 43 is enacted to read:
PREDICTABLE SCHEDULING AND FAIR TREATMENT FOR RETAIL EMPLOYEES
§ 3501. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 3502. Advance notice of work schedules and changes in work schedules
For a new employee, an employer shall provide on the employee's first day of employment an initial work schedule that runs through the date that the next biweekly schedule for existing employees is scheduled to be posted or distributed. Thereafter, the employer shall include the new employee in an existing biweekly schedule with other employees. For all employees, the work schedule must include any on-call shifts, as applicable. If the employer changes the work schedule after it is posted or transmitted, such changes are subject to the notice and compensation requirements set forth in subsections 3 and 4.
When the employee is required to come in to work, the compensation mandated by this subsection is in addition to the employee's regular pay for working that shift. This subsection does not apply to on-call shifts.
This subsection does not apply when the employee is in fact called in for the on-call shift or the employer provides the employee with 24 hours' or more notice that the on-call shift has been cancelled or moved to another date or time.
§ 3503. Equal treatment for part-time employees
§ 3504. Offering additional work to part-time employees
An employer is required to offer to a part-time employee only the number of hours required to give the employee more than 30 hours of work in a week.
§ 3505. Notice of employee rights
§ 3506. Requirements governing retention of records
An employer shall retain work schedule and payroll records pertaining to employees for 3 years and shall allow the bureau access to the records, with appropriate notice and during business hours, to monitor compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
The bureau may have access to all places of labor subject to this chapter during business hours to inspect books and records, interview employees and investigate such matters necessary or appropriate to determine whether an employer has violated any provisions of this chapter. If an employer does not maintain or retain adequate records documenting compliance with this chapter or does not allow the bureau reasonable access to the records, it must be presumed that the employer did not comply with this chapter, absent clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.
§ 3507. Exercise of rights protected; retaliation prohibited
§ 3508. Investigation and complaints
§ 3509. Penalties
§ 3510. No limitation of other rights and remedies
This chapter does not in any way limit the rights and remedies that the law otherwise provides to employees, including, but not limited to, the rights to be free from wrongful termination and unlawful discrimination.
§ 3511. Rules
The Department of Labor may adopt routine technical rules, as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A, to implement the provisions of this chapter. The rules must be consistent with this chapter and may establish procedures for ensuring fair, efficient and cost-effective implementation and enforcement of this chapter, including procedures for helping to inform employees of their rights under this chapter and for monitoring employer compliance.
§ 3512. Report
By no later than January 1, 2016, January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018, and no later than January 1st of every even-numbered year thereafter, the bureau shall provide a written report regarding this chapter to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over labor matters. The report must include, but not be limited to, a discussion of the implementation and enforcement of this chapter, including the number of violations and the penalties assessed in the prior year, or prior 2 years starting with the report due by January 1, 2020. The report may also include recommendations for possible improvements to this chapter.
This bill amends the laws regarding the employment practices of employers at retail establishments by requiring the following:
1. Two weeks' prior notice of work schedules to employees, with compensation owed for schedule changes under certain circumstances;
2. Paying part-time employees the same wage as full-time employees;
3. Providing part-time employees the same paid or unpaid time off as full-time employees;
4. Providing part-time employees the same eligibility for promotions as full-time employees; and
5. Offering additional work to part-time employees before hiring new employees or using contractors or temporary staffing services under certain circumstances.
The bill also requires these employers to keep certain business records for at least 3 years. The Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards may investigate possible violations and receive complaints of possible violations from the public. A fine of $50 per day is due for any noncompliance. The Attorney General may also file a civil action seeking additional remedies. The Department of Labor may adopt rules to help implement compliance and enforcement of these provisions and must report to the Legislature periodically on violations of the law and its efforts.