AN ACT TO ENACT THE RETAIL WORKERS' BILL OF RIGHTS TO ENSURE FAIR SCHEDULING AND TREATMENT OF RETAIL EMPLOYEES.
Enacts new GS Chapter 95, Article 2B (Retail Workers' Bill of Rights).
Lists legislative findings regarding employment in retail work, and defines seven terms including employer and retail establishment.
GS 95-25.33, Advance notice of work schedules and schedule changes, requires employers to provide new employees with written nonbinding estimates of the employee's expected minimum number of scheduled shifts per month and the days and hours of those shifts. Allows employees to request employers to modify the proposed work schedule, and requires an employer to accept or reject the request prior to the start of employment. Requires employers to provide employees with at least two weeks' notice of work schedules by posting the schedule on a biweekly schedule, either at the workplace or online. Requires an employer to give notice to an employee of any change to the employee's schedule, and requires additional compensation to the employee based on how long before the changed shifts notice was given, and the length of the changed shifts. Requires pay for oncall shifts in which an employee is not called into work. Provides seven exceptions for the schedule change compensation and exceptions (appears to intend oncall shift compensation), including for acts of God and unexpected absences of other employees. Allows employers to provide greater advance notice than required by this statute.
GS 95-25.34, Equal treatment for part-time employees, prohibits employers from differentiating wages, paid and unpaid time off, and eligibility for promotion, between part-time and full-time employees based on status as a part- or full-time employee. Provides that eligibility for promotion may be contingent upon the employee's availability for fulltime employment.
GS 95-25.35, Notice of employee rights, directs the Commissioner of Labor (Commissioner) to publish and make available to employers, in specified languages, a notice suitable for posting by employers in the workplace informing employees of their rights under this Article, by the effective date of this act. Directs the Commissioner to update the notice on December 1 of any year in which there is a change in the required languages (based on languages spoken by percentages of the state's workforce). Directs employers to post the notice in a conspicuous place at every workplace in the state under the employer's control visited by its retail employees.
GS 95-25.36, Records; retention requirements, requires employers to retain work schedules and payroll records for three years, and to allow the Department of Labor (Department) access to them to monitor compliance with this Article. Grants the Commissioner access to all places of labor subject to this Article during business hours to inspect books and records, interview employees, and investigate matters necessary to determine whether the employer has violated this Article. Provides that failure to maintain adequate records, or failure to allow the Department reasonable access to them as required, creates a presumption that the employer did not comply with the Article, absent clear and convincing evidence otherwise.
GS 95-25.37, Exercise of rights protected; retaliation prohibited, prohibits the interference with the exercise any right protected under this Article. Prohibits employers from taking adverse employment action in retaliation for the exercise of rights protected under this Article.
GS 95-25.38, Investigation; enforcement, authorizes the Commissioner to enforce the Article, including investigation of possible violations of the Article. Authorizes the Commissioner to order temporary or interim relief to mitigate a violation that the Commissioner has reason to believe has occurred, or to maintain the status quo, pending the completion of an investigation. Provides for the Commissioner to provide notice to an employer that has been determined to be in violation, as described, and authorizes the Commissioner to order appropriate relief, including payment of lost wages, as well as an administrative penalty, to employees, and enforcement costs to the state. Provides for an appeal to the NC Office of Administrative Hearings, and subsequently to the Wake County Superior Court, and describes the steps required to pursue such an appeal. Provides that failure to appeal constitutes failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
Clarifies that the Article does not limit other rights and remedies provided by law to employees. Contains a severability clause.
Clarifies that the Article does not create rights, requirements, powers, or duties in conflict with any state or federal law.
Effective January 1, 2022.
© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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