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H.R. 5159 (113th): Schedules That Work Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 22, 2014 (Introduced).

I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5159

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 22, 2014

(for himself, Ms. DeLauro, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Cummings, Mr. Honda, Ms. Moore, Mr. Nadler, Ms. Norton, Mr. Grayson, Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Jackson Lee, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Ms. Hahn, Mr. Hinojosa, Mr. Holt, Ms. Fudge, Mr. Takano, Ms. Brown of Florida, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Ms. Edwards, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Rangel, Ms. Matsui, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Courtney, Mr. Ellison, and Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and in addition to the Committees on House Administration, Oversight and Government Reform, and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To permit employees to request changes to their work schedules without fear of retaliation, and to ensure that employers consider these requests; and to require employers to provide more predictable and stable schedules for employees in certain growing low-wage occupations, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; findings

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Schedules That Work Act .

(b)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The vast majority of the United States workforce today is juggling responsibilities at home and at work. Women are primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in 63 percent of families in the United States and 26 percent of families with children are headed by single mothers.

(2)

Despite the dual responsibilities of today’s workforce, workers across the income spectrum have very little ability to make changes to their work schedules when those changes are needed to accommodate family responsibilities. Only 27 percent of employers allow all or most of their employees to periodically change their starting and quitting times.

(3)

Although low-wage workers are most likely to be raising children on their own, as more than half of mothers of young children in low-wage jobs are doing, low-wage workers have the least control over their work schedules and the most unpredictable schedules. For example—

(A)

roughly half of low-wage workers reported very little or no control over the timing of the hours they were scheduled to work;

(B)

many workers in low-wage jobs receive their schedules with very little advance notice and have work hours that vary significantly from week to week or month to month;

(C)

some workers in low-wage jobs are sent home from work when work is slow without being paid for their scheduled shift;

(D)

in some industries, the use of call-in shift requirements—requirements that workers call in to work to find out whether they will be scheduled to work later that day—has become common practice; and

(E)

at the same time, 20 to 30 percent of workers in low-wage jobs struggle with being required to work extra hours with little or no notice.

(4)

Unfair work scheduling practices make it difficult for low-wage workers to—

(A)

provide necessary care for children and other family members, including arranging child care;

(B)

qualify for and maintain eligibility for child care subsidies, due to fluctuations in income and work hours, or keep an appointment with a child care provider, due to not knowing how many hours or when the workers will be scheduled to work;

(C)

pursue workforce training;

(D)

get or keep a second job that some part-time workers need to make ends meet; and

(E)

arrange transportation to and from work.

(5)

Unpredictable and unstable schedules are prevalent in retail sales, food preparation and service, and building cleaning occupations, which are among the lowest-paid and fastest-growing occupations in the workforce today. For workers in those occupations, often difficult and sometimes abusive work scheduling practices combine with very low wages to make it extremely challenging to make ends meet.

(6)

Retail sales, food preparation and service, and building cleaning occupations are among those most likely to have unpredictable and unstable schedules. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 66 percent of food service workers, 52 percent of retail workers, and 40 percent of janitors and housekeepers know their schedules only a week or less in advance. The average variation in work hours in a single month is 70 percent for food service workers, 50 percent for retail workers, and 40 percent for janitors and housekeepers.

(7)

Those are among the lowest-paid and fastest-growing occupations, accounting for 18 percent of workers in the economy, some 23,500,000 workers. The median pay for workers in those 3 occupations is between $9.15 and $10.44 per hour, and women make up more than half of the workers in those occupations.

(8)

Employers that have implemented fair work scheduling policies that allow workers to have more control over their work schedules, and provide more predictable and stable schedules, have experienced significant benefits, including reductions in absenteeism and workforce turnover, and increased employee morale and engagement.

(9)

This Act is a first step in responding to the needs of workers for a voice in the timing of their work hours and for more predictable schedules.

2.

Definitions

As used in this Act, the following definitions apply:

(1)

Bona fide business reason

The term bona fide business reason means—

(A)

the identifiable burden of additional costs to an employer, including the cost of productivity loss, retraining or hiring employees, or transferring employees from one facility to another facility;

(B)

a significant detrimental effect on the employer’s ability to meet organizational needs or customer demand;

(C)

a significant inability of the employer, despite best efforts, to reorganize work among existing (as of the date of the reorganization) staff;

(D)

a significant detrimental effect on business performance;

(E)

insufficiency of work during the periods an employee proposes to work;

(F)

the need to balance competing scheduling requests when it is not possible to grant all such requests without a significant detrimental effect on the employer’s ability to meet organizational needs; or

(G)

such other reason as may be specified by the Secretary of Labor (or the corresponding administrative officer specified in section 8).

(2)

Career-related educational or training program

The term career-related educational or training program means an educational or training program or program of study offered by a public, private, or nonprofit career and technical education school, institution of higher education, or other entity that provides academic education, career and technical education, or training (including remedial education or English as a second language, as appropriate), that is a program that leads to a recognized postsecondary credential (as identified under section 122(d) of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act), and provides career awareness information. The term includes a program allowable under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 ( 29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq. ), the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 ( 20 U.S.C. 2301 et seq. ), or the Higher Education Act of 1965 ( 20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq. ), without regard to whether or not the program is funded under the corresponding Act.

(3)

Caregiver

The term caregiver means an individual with the status of being a significant provider of—

(A)

ongoing care or education, including responsibility for securing the ongoing care or education, of a child; or

(B)

ongoing care, including responsibility for securing the ongoing care, of—

(i)

a person with a serious health condition who is in a family relationship with the individual; or

(ii)

a parent of the individual, who is age 65 or older.

(4)

Child

The term child means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis to that child, who is—

(A)

under age 18; or

(B)

age 18 or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

(5)

Covered employer

(A)

In general

The term covered employer

(i)

means any person engaged in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting commerce who employs 15 or more employees (described in paragraph (7)(A));

(ii)

includes any person who acts, directly or indirectly, in the interest of such an employer to any of the employees (described in paragraph (7)(A)) of such employer;

(iii)

includes any successor in interest of such an employer; and

(iv)

includes an agency described in clause (iii) or (iv) of subparagraph (A) of section 101(4) of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ( 29 U.S.C. 2611(4) ), to which subparagraph (B) of such section shall apply.

(B)

Rule

For purposes of determining the number of employees who work for a person described in subparagraph (A)(i), all employees (described in paragraph (7)(A)) performing work for compensation on a full-time, part-time, or temporary basis shall be counted, except that if the number of such employees who perform work for such a person for compensation fluctuates, the number may be determined for a calendar year based upon the average number of such employees who performed work for the person for compensation during the preceding calendar year.

(C)

Person

In this paragraph, and paragraph (7), the term person has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 203).

(6)

Domestic partner

The term domestic partner means the person recognized as being in a relationship with an employee under any domestic partnership, civil union, or similar law of the State or political subdivision of a State in which the employee resides.

(7)

Employee

The term employee means an individual who is—

(A)

an employee, as defined in section 3(e) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ( 29 U.S.C. 203(e) ), who is not described in any of subparagraphs (B) through (G);

(B)

a State employee described in section 304(a) of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 (42 U.S.C. 2000e–16c(a));

(C)

a covered employee, as defined in section 101 of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1301), other than an applicant for employment;

(D)

a covered employee, as defined in section 411(c) of title 3, United States Code;

(E)

a Federal officer or employee covered under subchapter V of chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code;

(F)

an employee of the Library of Congress; or

(G)

an employee of the Government Accountability Office.

(8)

Employer

The term employer means a person—

(A)

who is—

(i)

a covered employer, as defined in paragraph (4), who is not described in any of clauses (ii) through (vii);

(ii)

an entity employing a State employee described in section 304(a) of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991;

(iii)

an employing office, as defined in section 101 of the Congressional Accountability Act of 1995;

(iv)

an employing office, as defined in section 411(c) of title 3, United States Code;

(v)

an employing agency covered under subchapter V of chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code;

(vi)

the Librarian of Congress; or

(vii)

the Comptroller General of the United States; and

(B)

who is engaged in commerce (including government), in the production of goods for commerce, or in an enterprise engaged in commerce (including government) or in the production of goods for commerce.

(9)

Family relationship

The term family relationship means a relationship with a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, grandchild, grandparent, sibling, or parent of a spouse or domestic partner.

(10)

Grandchild

The term grandchild means the child of a child.

(11)

Grandparent

The term grandparent means the parent of a parent.

(12)

Minimum number of expected work hours

The term minimum number of expected work hours means the minimum number of hours an employee will be assigned to work on a weekly or monthly basis.

(13)

Parent

The term parent means a biological or adoptive parent, a stepparent, or a person who stood in a parental relationship to an employee when the employee was a child.

(14)

Parental relationship

The term parental relationship means a relationship in which a person assumed the obligations incident to parenthood for a child and discharged those obligations before the child reached adulthood.

(15)

Part-time employee

The term part-time employee means an individual who works fewer than 30 hours per week on average during any 1-month period.

(16)

Retail, food service, or cleaning employee

(A)

In general

The term retail, food service, or cleaning employee means an individual employee who is employed in any of the following occupations, as described by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classification System (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act):

(i)

Retail sales occupations consisting of occupations described in 41–1010 and 41–2000, and all subdivisions thereof, of such System, which includes first-line supervisors of sales workers, cashiers, gaming change persons and booth cashiers, counter and rental clerks, parts salespersons, and retail salespersons.

(ii)

Food preparation and serving related occupations as described in 35–0000, and all subdivisions thereof, of such System, which includes supervisors of food preparation and serving workers, cooks and food preparation workers, food and beverage serving workers, and other food preparation and serving related workers.

(iii)

Building cleaning occupations as described in 37–2011, 37–2012 and 37–2019 of such System, which includes janitors and cleaners, maids and housekeeping cleaners, and building cleaning workers.

(B)

Exclusions

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the term retail, food service, or cleaning employee does not include any person employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, as defined for purposes of section 13(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ( 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(1) ).

(17)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Labor.

(18)

Serious health condition

The term serious health condition has the meaning given the term in section 101 of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2611).

(19)

Sibling

The term sibling means a brother or sister, whether related by half blood, whole blood, or adoption, or as a stepsibling.

(20)

Split shift

The term split shift means a schedule of daily hours in which the hours worked are not consecutive, except that a schedule in which the total time out for meals does not exceed 1 hour shall not be treated as a split shift.

(21)

Spouse

(A)

In general

The term spouse means a person with whom an individual entered into—

(i)

a marriage as defined or recognized under State law in the State in which the marriage was entered into; or

(ii)

in the case of a marriage entered into outside of any State, a marriage that is in the place where entered into and could have been entered into in at least 1 State.

(B)

Same-sex or common law marriage

Such term includes an individual in a same-sex or common law marriage that meets the requirements of subparagraph (A).

(22)

State

The term State has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 203).

(23)

Work schedule

The term work schedule means those days and times within a work period when an employee is required by an employer to perform the duties of the employee's employment for which the employee will receive compensation.

(24)

Work schedule change

The term work schedule change means any modification to an employee’s work schedule, such as an addition or reduction of hours, cancellation of a shift, or a change in the date or time of a work shift, by an employer.

(25)

Work Shift

The term work shift means the specific hours of the workday during which an employee works.

(26)

Various additional terms

(A)

Commerce terms

The terms commerce and industry or activity affecting commerce have the meanings given the terms in section 101 of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (29 U.S.C. 2611).

(B)

Employ

The term employ has the meaning given the term in section 3 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 203).

3.

Right to request and receive a flexible, predictable or stable work schedule

(a)

Right To request

An employee may apply to the employee's employer to request a change in the terms and conditions of employment as they relate to—

(1)

the number of hours the employee is required to work or be on call for work;

(2)

the times when the employee is required to work or be on call for work;

(3)

the location where the employee is required to work;

(4)

the amount of notification the employee receives of work schedule assignments; and

(5)

minimizing fluctuations in the number of hours the employee is scheduled to work on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

(b)

Employer obligation To engage in an interactive process

(1)

In general

If an employee applies to the employee's employer to request a change in the terms and conditions of employment as set forth in subsection (a), the employer shall engage in a timely, good faith interactive process with the employee that includes a discussion of potential schedule changes that would meet the employee’s needs.

(2)

Result

Such process shall result in—

(A)

either granting or denying the request;

(B)

in the event of a denial, considering alternatives to the proposed change that might meet the employee’s needs and granting or denying a request for an alternative change in the terms and conditions of employment as set forth in subsection (a); and

(C)

in the event of a denial, stating the reason for denial.

(3)

Information

If information provided by the employee making a request for a change requires clarification, the employer shall explain what further information is needed and give the employee reasonable time to produce the information.

(c)

Requests related to caregiving, enrollment in education or training, or a second job

If an employee makes a request for a change in the terms and conditions of employment as set forth in subsection (a) because of a serious health condition of the employee, due to the employee’s responsibilities as a caregiver, or due to the employee's enrollment in a career-related educational or training program, or if a part-time employee makes a request for such a change for a reason related to a second job, the employer shall grant the request, unless the employer has a bona fide business reason for denying the request.

(d)

Other requests

If an employee makes a request for a change in the terms and conditions of employment as set forth in subsection (a), for a reason other than those reasons set forth in subsection (c), the employer may deny the request for any reason that is not unlawful. If the employer denies such a request, the employer shall provide the employee with the reason for the denial, including whether any such reason was a bona fide business reason.

4.

Requirements for reporting time pay, split shift pay, and advance notice of work schedules

(a)

Reporting time pay requirement

An employer shall pay a retail, food service, or cleaning employee—

(1)

for at least 4 hours at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each day on which the retail, food service, or cleaning employee reports for work under specific instructions but is given less than four hours of work, except that if the retail, food service, or cleaning employee’s scheduled hours are less than 4 hours, such retail, food service, or cleaning employee shall be paid for the employee’s scheduled hours for that day if given less than the scheduled hours of work; and

(2)

for at least 1 hour at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each day the retail, food service, or cleaning employee is given specific instructions to contact the employee's employer, or wait to be contacted by the employer, less than 24 hours in advance of the start of a potential work shift to determine whether the employee must report to work for such shift.

(b)

Split shift pay requirement

An employer shall pay a retail, food service, or cleaning employee for one additional hour at the retail, food service, or cleaning employee’s regular rate of pay for each day during which the retail, food service, or cleaning employee works a split shift.

(c)

Advance notice requirement

(1)

Initial schedule

On or before a new retail, food service, or cleaning employee’s first day of work, the employer shall inform the retail, food service, or cleaning employee in writing of the employee's work schedule and the minimum number of expected work hours the retail, food service, or cleaning employee will be assigned to work per month.

(2)

Change to schedule

Except as provided in paragraph (3), if the retail, food service, or cleaning employee’s work schedule changes from the work schedule of which the retail, food service, or cleaning employee was informed pursuant to paragraph (1), the employer shall provide each retail, food service, or cleaning employee with the employee's new work schedule not less than 14 days before the first day of the new work schedule. If the expected minimum number of work hours a retail, food service, or cleaning employee will be assigned changes, the employer shall also provide notification of that change, not less than 14 days in advance of the first day this change will go into effect. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit an employer from providing greater advance notice of a retail, food service, or cleaning employee’s work schedule than is required under this section.

(3)

Work schedule changes made with less than 24 hours’ notice

An employer may make work schedule changes as needed, including by offering additional hours of work to retail, food service, or cleaning employees beyond those previously scheduled, but an employer shall be required to provide one extra hour of pay at the retail, food service, or cleaning employee’s regular rate for each shift that is changed with less than 24 hours’ notice, except in the case of the need to schedule the retail, food service, or cleaning employee due to the unforeseen unavailability of a retail, food service, or cleaning employee previously scheduled to work that shift.

(4)

Notifications in writing

The notifications required under paragraphs (1) and (2) shall be made to the employee in writing. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting an employer from using any additional means of notifying a retail, food service, or cleaning employee of the employee's work schedule.

(5)

Schedule posting requirement

Every employer employing any retail, food service, or cleaning employee subject to this Act shall post the schedule and keep it posted in a conspicuous place in every establishment where such retail, food service, or cleaning employee is employed so as to permit them to observe readily a copy. Availability of that schedule by electronic means accessible by all employees of that employer shall be considered compliance with this subsection.

(6)

Employee shift trading

Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prevent an employer from allowing a retail, food service, or cleaning employee to work in place of another employee who has been scheduled to work a particular shift as long as the change in schedule is mutually agreed upon by the employees. An employer shall not be subject to the requirements of paragraph (2) or (3) for such voluntary shift trades.

(d)

Exception

The requirements in subsections (a), (b), and (c) shall not apply during periods when regular operations of the employer are suspended due to events beyond the employer’s control.

5.

Prohibited Acts

(a)

Interference with rights

It shall be unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise or the attempt to exercise, any right of an employee as set forth in section 3 or of a retail, food service, or cleaning employee as set forth in section 4.

(b)

Retaliation prohibited

It shall be unlawful for any employer to discharge, threaten to discharge, demote, suspend, reduce work hours of, or take any other adverse employment action against any employee in retaliation for exercising the rights of an employee under this Act or opposing any practice made unlawful by this Act. For purposes of section 3, such retaliation shall include taking an adverse employment action against any employee on the basis of that employee’s eligibility or perceived eligibility to request or receive a change in the terms and conditions of employment, as described in such section, on the basis of a reason set forth in section 3(c).

(c)

Interference with Proceedings or Inquiries

It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge or in any other manner discriminate against any individual because such individual—

(1)

has filed any charge, or has instituted or caused to be instituted any proceeding, under or related to this Act;

(2)

has given or is about to give, any information in connection with any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under this Act; or

(3)

has testified, or is about to testify, in any inquiry or proceeding relating to any right provided under this Act.

6.

Remedies and enforcement

(a)

Investigative authority

(1)

In general

To ensure compliance with this Act, or any regulation or order issued under this Act, the Secretary shall have, subject to paragraph (3), the investigative authority provided under section 11(a) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 211(a)).

(2)

Obligation to keep and preserve records

Each employer shall make, keep, and preserve records pertaining to compliance with this Act in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary under section 8.

(3)

Required submissions generally limited to an annual basis

The Secretary shall not under the authority of this subsection require any employer to submit to the Secretary any books or records more than once during any 12-month period, unless the Secretary has reasonable cause to believe there may exist a violation of this Act or any regulation or order issued pursuant to this Act, or is investigating a charge pursuant to subsection (c).

(4)

Subpoena powers

For the purposes of any investigation provided for in this section, the Secretary shall have the subpoena authority provided for under section 9 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 ( 29 U.S.C. 209 ).

(b)

Civil action by employees

(1)

Liability

Any employer who violates section 5(a) (with respect to a right set forth in section 4) or subsection (b) or (c) of section 5 (referred to in this section as a covered provision) shall be liable to any employee affected for—

(A)

damages equal to the amount of—

(i)

any wages, salary, employment benefits (as defined in section 101 of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ( 29 U.S.C. 2611 )), or other compensation denied, lost, or owed to such employee by reason of the violation; or

(ii)

in a case in which wages, salary, employment benefits (as so defined), or other compensation have not been denied, lost, or owed to the employee, any actual monetary losses sustained by the employee as a direct result of the violation;

(B)

interest on the amount described in subparagraph (A) calculated at the prevailing rate;

(C)

an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to the sum of the amount described in subparagraph (A) and the interest described in subparagraph (B), except that if an employer who has violated a covered provision proves to the satisfaction of the court that the act or omission which violated the covered provision was in good faith and that the employer had reasonable grounds for believing that the act or omission was not a violation of a covered provision, such court may, in the discretion of the court, reduce the amount of liability to the amount and interest determined under subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively; and

(D)

such equitable relief as may be appropriate, including employment, reinstatement, and promotion.

(2)

Right of Action

An action to recover the damages or equitable relief set forth in paragraph (1) may be maintained against any employer (including a public agency) in any Federal or State court of competent jurisdiction by any one or more employees for and on behalf of—

(A)

the employees; or

(B)

the employees and other employees similarly situated.

(3)

Fees and Costs

The court in such an action shall, in addition to any judgment awarded to the plaintiff, allow a reasonable attorney’s fee, reasonable expert witness fees, and other costs of the action to be paid by the defendant.

(4)

Limitations

The right provided by paragraph (2) to bring an action by or on behalf of any employee shall terminate on the filing of a complaint by the Secretary in an action under subsection (c)(3) in which a recovery is sought of the damages described in paragraph (1)(A) owing to an employee by an employer liable under paragraph (1) unless the action described is dismissed without prejudice on motion of the Secretary.

(c)

Actions by the Secretary

(1)

Administrative Action

The Secretary shall receive, investigate, and attempt to resolve complaints of violations of this Act in the same manner that the Secretary receives, investigates, and attempts to resolve complaints of violations of sections 6 and 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 206 and 207), and may issue an order making determinations, and assessing a civil penalty described in paragraph (4) (in accordance with paragraph (4)), with respect to such an alleged violation.

(2)

Administrative Review

An affected person who takes exception to an order issued under paragraph (1) may request review of and a decision regarding such an order by an administrative law judge. In reviewing the order, the administrative law judge may hold an administrative hearing concerning the order, in accordance with the requirements of sections 554, 556, and 557 of title 5, United States Code. Such hearing shall be conducted expeditiously. If no affected person requests such review within 60 days after the order is issued under paragraph (1), the order shall be considered to be a final order that is not subject to judicial review.

(3)

Civil action

The Secretary may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction on behalf of aggrieved employees to—

(A)

restrain violations of this Act;

(B)

award such equitable relief as may be appropriate, including employment, reinstatement, and promotion; and

(C)

in the case of a violation of a covered provision, recover the damages and interest described in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of subsection (b)(1).

(4)

Civil penalty

An employer who willfully and repeatedly violates—

(A)

paragraph (1), (4), or (5) of section 4(c) shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount to be determined by the Secretary, but not to exceed $100 per violation; and

(B)

subsection (b) or (c) of section 5 shall be subject to a civil penalty in an amount to be determined by the Secretary, but not to exceed $1,100 per violation.

(d)

Limitation

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), an action may be brought under this section not later than 2 years after the date of the last event constituting the alleged violation for which the action is brought.

(2)

Willful Violation

In the case of such action brought for a willful violation of section 5, such action may be brought within 3 years of the date of the last event constituting the alleged violation for which such action is brought.

(3)

Commencement

In determining when an action is commenced by the Secretary under this section for the purposes of this subsection, it shall be considered to be commenced on the date when the complaint is filed.

7.

Notice and posting

(a)

In general

Each employer shall post and keep posted, in conspicuous places on the premises of the employer where notices to employees and applicants for employment are customarily posted, a notice, to be prepared or approved by the Secretary (or the corresponding administrative officer specified in section 8) setting forth excerpts from, or summaries of, the pertinent provisions of this Act and information pertaining to the filing of a complaint under this Act.

(b)

Penalty

Any employer that willfully violates this section may be assessed a civil money penalty not to exceed $100 for each separate offense.

8.

Regulations

(a)

In general

Except as provided in subsections (b) through (f), not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this Act.

(b)

Board

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Board of Directors of the Office of Compliance shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this Act with respect to employees described in section 4(7)(C).

(c)

President

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the President shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this Act with respect to employees described in section 4(7)(D).

(d)

Office of Personnel Management

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this Act with respect to employees described in section 4(7)(E).

(e)

Librarian of Congress

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Librarian of Congress shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this Act with respect to employees of the Library of Congress.

(f)

Comptroller General

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this Act with respect to employees of the Government Accountability Office.

9.

Research, education, and technical assistance program

(a)

In general

The Secretary shall provide information and technical assistance to employers, labor organizations, and the general public concerning compliance with this Act.

(b)

Program

In order to achieve the objectives of this Act—

(1)

the Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor, shall issue guidance on compliance with this Act regarding providing a flexible, predictable, or stable work environment through changes in the terms and conditions of employment as provided in section 3(a); and

(2)

the Secretary shall carry on a continuing program of research, education, and technical assistance, including—

(A)
(i)

conducting pilot programs that implement fairer work schedules, including by promoting cross training, providing three weeks or more advance notice of schedules, providing employees with a minimum number of hours of work, and using computerized scheduling software to provide more flexible, predictable, and stable schedules for employees; and

(ii)

evaluating the results of such pilot programs for employees, employee's families, and employers;

(B)

publishing and otherwise making available to employers, labor organizations, professional associations, educational institutions, the various communication media, and the general public the findings of studies regarding fair work scheduling policies and other materials for promoting compliance with this Act;

(C)

sponsoring and assisting State and community informational and educational programs; and

(D)

providing technical assistance to employers, labor organizations, professional associations, and other interested persons on means of achieving and maintaining compliance with the provisions of this Act.

(c)

GAO Study

(1)

Study

The Comptroller General of the United States shall conduct a study on—

(A)

the impact of difficult scheduling practices on employees and employers, including unpredictable and unstable schedules and schedules over which employees have little control, and particularly how these scheduling practices impact absenteeism, workforce turnover, and employees' ability to meet their caregiving responsibilities;

(B)

the prevalence in occupations not described in section 2(16)(A) of employees routinely receiving inadequate advance notice of the shifts or hours of the employees, being assigned split shifts, being sent home from work prior to the completion of their scheduled shift without being paid for the hours in their scheduled shift, being assigned call-in shifts (where the employee is required to contact the employer, or wait to be contacted by the employer, less than 24 hours in advance of the potential work shift to determine whether the employee must report to work), or being called into work outside of scheduled hours;

(C)

the effects on employees in occupations not described in section 2(16)(A) of providing advance notice of work schedules, reporting time pay when employees are sent home without working their full scheduled shift or are assigned to call-in shifts but given no work for those shifts, and split shift pay when employees are assigned split shifts; and

(D)

the effects on employers in occupations not described in section 2(16)(A) of providing advance notice of work schedules, reporting time pay when employees are sent home without working their full scheduled shift or assigned to call-in shifts but given no work for those shifts, and split shift pay when employees are assigned split shifts.

(2)

Reports

Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall prepare and submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress concerning the initial results of the study conducted pursuant to paragraph (1). Not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall prepare and submit a follow-up report to such committees concerning the results of such study.

10.

Rights retained by employees

This Act provides minimum requirements and shall not be construed to preempt, limit, or otherwise affect the applicability of any other law, regulation, requirement, policy, or standard that provides for greater rights for employees than are required in this Act.

11.

Exemption

This Act shall not apply to any employee covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement if the terms of the collective bargaining agreement include terms that govern work scheduling practices.

12.

Effect on other law

Nothing in this Act shall be construed as creating or imposing any requirement in conflict with any Federal or State law or regulation (including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ( 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. ), the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 ( 29 U.S.C. 2611 et seq. ), the National Labor Relations Act ( 29 U.S.C. 151 et seq. ), and title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ( 42 U.S.C. 2000e et seq. )), nor shall anything in this Act be construed to diminish or impair the rights of an employee under any valid collective bargaining agreement.