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Bill would allow workers to refuse 'clopen' shifts, get schedule 3 weeks out

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A new bill making its way through the state legislature would help assure hourly employees get a little more sleep between shifts.

The proposal takes on "clopening," a nickname for back-to-back scheduling that forces an employee to work a closing shift – and clock in for an opening shift the next morning.

The New York Times writes the scheduling practice is becoming more common as retailers, restaurants and other businesses spread their staffs thin in order to keep costs low.

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, a Democrat, told the paper the new legislation will try to "rebalance the playing field" for the state's hourly workers, as it is "tilted very dramatically" toward employers when it comes to scheduling.

If it passes, the following changes could come to the workplace:

  • Employees can opt out of shifts with fewer than 11 hours of rest between them.
  • Employers would be required to post work schedules three weeks ahead of time.
  • Workers will be paid if a shift is cancelled or changed less than 24 hours before it's supposed to start.
  • Employees could request a flexible working arrangement (basically, a change in the regular hours and shifts worked) at any time.
  • Click here to read more.

The provisions are part of the Working Parents Act. It's currently in a House committee.

According to FOX 9, the bill's supporters expect some push-back from business groups who believe scheduling should be left up to store owners.

A companion bill was introduced in the Senate Monday, and is also in a committee.

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