Businesses with operations in California face complex legal requirements when it comes to managing their workforces. It’s important that these compliance needs can be easily addressed within the fast-paced world of shift-based workers.

A New Workforce Composition

Businesses are increasingly diversifying the way they engage workers in order to achieve greater agility, cost savings, efficiency gains and access to talent. As a result, the full-time workforce continues to shrink. We see this with the rise of the contingent workforce at all levels of the organization.

Shift-based workers are a huge part of this equation. They are absolutely critical at the site level, particularly in industries like manufacturing, logistics, healthcare and education.

Businesses need shift-based workers, often with short notice, to meet immediate demand, fulfill orders and ensure facilities are fully staffed so they can remain open. Without them, operations are disrupted, slowed or halted. We’ve seen this many times over the past two years as companies continue to face staffing shortages.

Managing the Shift-Based Workforce

Most large businesses have developed a sophisticated strategy and implemented technology to accommodate the management of the contingent workforce. Just as an applicant tracking system (ATS) manages full-time employees, a vendor management system (VMS) performs the same function for contingent workers.

Unfortunately, a VMS wasn’t built for the complexities or high volume of shift-based workers. They are transient, working just one shift or many, and often accept shifts just days or hours in advance. This type of dynamic scheduling and real-time communication needs between clients and suppliers can’t easily be accommodated by a VMS. Companies often resort to manual processes or some combination of technologies to manage shift-based workers, which leaves room for error, especially as it relates to paying workers correctly.

Compliance for this segment can be tricky no matter where your company is located, but California’s laws pose additional requirements that can be difficult to navigate.

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In California, workforce compliance requirements are far more complex than those in other states. VMS tools can easily accommodate these compliance needs for traditional contingent workers. But how is all of this accounted for with the shift-based contingent workforce? Without a strong technology backbone that can accommodate these rules, it’s a manual, laborious, error-prone process.

Simplifying Compliance for California-Based Shift-Based Workers

Many companies have tried to manage their shift-based workforces through existing tools like a VMS, or even manually via spreadsheets. However, they fall short without a fit-for-purpose tool.

If employees aren’t paid correctly on time, employees can recover up to $200 plus 25% of the amount withheld. Apart from stiff penalties like these for employers, it’s important to create an experience that makes shift-based workers want to accept shifts. Mainly, they want to be paid on time and correctly, every time. In California in particular, it’s incredibly difficult to do so without the help of technology built specifically for the dynamic shift-based workforce.

What should California-based businesses look for in a shift-based workforce management technology?

Real-time flagging. A technology solution should communicate, not just track, in order to allow employers to make real-time decisions. Is a worker approaching overtime or double time pay? Notifications can help the site manager make better decisions.

Automated compliance checks. There are numerous positions where shift-based workers must ensure they are up-to-date on certifications. Take forklift operators, as an example. In order to view and qualify for open shifts, they must be up-to-date with credentials. Technology can also track health and safety training required during onboarding.

The ability to automate pay. Shift-based workers won’t continue to accept shifts if there are errors and inconsistencies in their pay. Employers who have automated tools that account for California pay differentials, including those mentioned above, create a more seamless experience for workers and drive longer-term engagement.

Managing compliance in California associated with the shift-based workforce helps businesses mitigate compliance risks and also enables them to attract and keep talent. In today’s work where agility is king, this is a key workforce strategy to becoming an employer of choice.

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