Fair Workweek in New York City

On May 30, 2017, New York City passed a new law that will affect the retail and fast food industry in the city. This new law, which will be effective on November 26, 2017 includes five separate bills and is part of the Fair Workweek legislation package signed by Mayor Bill De Blasio.

Nearly one in five Americans have an unstable work schedule. Employees in the retail and fast food industry often have unpredictable schedules which make it difficult for them to seek additional employment, find care for their children, and further their education. This new law intends to provide these workers with not only more stability in the workplace but also in their personal lives. Although San Francisco and Seattle have passed similar laws, New York is the largest city to make such changes.

New York City Regulates Fast Food Workers’ Schedules

Four out of the five bills that were passed, affect New York City’s fast food workers. The first bill bans “clopenings.” This means that employers cannot schedule employees to work closing shifts and then require them to open the next day when there are less than eleven hours in between. If an employer fails to comply with this new law, he or she will be required to pay the employee $100 for each instance that the employee works a “clopening” shift.

The second bill requires fast food employers to provide their employees with work schedules two weeks in advance. If an employer makes changes to an employee’s schedule with less than the required two weeks’ notice, the employer will be obligated to pay the employee a premium.

The third bill is aimed at providing part-time fast food employees with a path towards full-time employment. It requires employers to offer new shifts to current employees before they attempt to hire anyone else. However, employers are only required to offer these extra hours to current employees up until the point at which the employer would be required to pay the employee overtime, or until all current employees have rejected the extra available hours.

The last bill affecting the fast food industry requires that if an employee requests to designate a part of their pay check to a certain not-for-profit organization, that the employer deduct and send the donation to such not-for-profit.

Retail Workers’ Schedules Regulated by New York City

One of the bills in the Fair Workweek legislation package affects employees in the retail industry in New York City. This bill bans on-call scheduling, which is when an employee must contact the employer or wait to be contacted before knowing when he or she will be required to work. Additionally, this new law will prohibit retail employers from canceling, changing, or adding work shifts within 72 hours of the start of the shift. Lastly, this new law will require the employer to post the schedule 72 hours prior to the beginning of the employee’s scheduled shift.

In sum, these new laws will regulate the abusive scheduling practices that affect retail and fast food workers in New York City. It is important that workers in these fields understand how their rights will soon change.

If you are a victim of abusive scheduling policies or if you have further questions about the Fair Workweek legislation, contact the New York City employment lawyers of Famighetti & Weinick PLLC at 631-325-0050. Our employment law website is https://www.linycemploymentlaw.com.

Today’s employment law blog was written by Thalia Olaya, a Hofstra Law School intern working at Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC, this summer.

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