newsThe Working Families Flexibility Act, currently being reintroduced into both chambers of Congress, is broadly designed to bring more flexibility to the workplace and give employees new rights regarding requests for changes in either the terms or conditions of their employment. Under the Act, employees would have the right to directly request changes to required minimum work hours, the time that they are required to work each day (or be on call), the location(s) they are required to work, and the length of advanced notice an employee must received before receiving scheduled assignments.

An unadvertised addition to the new Act would be the necessary extra paperwork the rule would require in order for an employee to make change requests. Upon each request, an employer would be mandated to meet with the employee to examine the request and present a written decision before an arbitrary “reasonable” time period has elapsed. Furthermore, for rejected applications the employer must provide a second letter explaining why a request has been denied.

The proposed law would also give rejected employees the authority to file a complaint with the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration of the Department of Labor, who would proceed to investigate and assess the situation to ensure no rights violations had occurred. One condition an employee must meet before gaining the new right is that he or she must work at least 20 hours per week or 1,000 hours per year. Additionally, small businesses with less than 15 employers would remain exempt from the requirements.

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