HR Alert

New York City Laws Aim to Improve Working Conditions Related to Employee Work Schedules

Laws Contain General Provisions and Specific Requirements for Certain Fast Food and Retail Employers

New York City has passed a package of local laws to improve working conditions related to employee work schedules. Highlights of the local laws are presented below.

General Provisions, Advance Notice, and Schedule Change Premiums
A local law entitled "Introduction Number 1396-A" establishes general provisions governing fair work practices--including new posting and recordkeeping requirements--and requires certain fast food employers to provide advance notice of work schedules and a schedule change premium when hours are changed after required notice. For additional information and definitions of terms used in this law and other laws below (e.g., "fast food employers" and "employees"), please see the text of the law.

Minimum Time Between Shifts
Under "Introduction Number 1388-A," unless the fast food employee requests or consents to work such hours in writing, no fast food employer may require any fast food employee to work 2 shifts with fewer than 11 hours between the end of the first shift and the beginning of the second shift when the first shift ends the previous calendar day or spans 2 calendar days. The fast food employer must pay the fast food employee $100 for each instance that the employee works such shifts. Please see the text of the law for more details.

Offering Additional Shifts to Current Fast Food Employees
Under "Introduction Number 1395-A," before hiring new fast food employees--including hiring through the use of subcontractors--a fast food employer generally must offer regular shifts or on-call shifts that would otherwise be offered to a new fast food employee to the fast food employer's current fast food employees employed at all fast food establishments owned by the fast food employer, or at a subset of such fast food establishments (as provided in rules promulgated under the law).

When shifts become available that must be offered to current fast food employees under the law, a fast food employer must post a notice that states (among other things) the number of shifts being offered, the schedule of the shifts, and whether the shifts will occur at the same time each week. The fast food employer must also provide the notice in writing directly to each fast food employee electronically. Additional details, including requirements and exceptions, are contained in the text of the law|text of the law|text of the law.

Retail Employees: On-Call Scheduling and Advance Notice
Under "Introduction Number 1387-A," a retail employer|retail employer|retail employer at a retail business with 20 or more employees generally may not:

  • Schedule a retail employee for any on-call shift;
  • Cancel any regular shift for a retail employee within 72 hours of the scheduled start of such shift;
  • Require a retail employee to work with fewer than 72 hours' notice, unless the employee consents in writing; or
  • Require a retail employee to contact a retail employer to confirm whether or not the employee should report for a regular shift fewer than 72 hours before the start of such shift.

Additionally, a retail employer must provide a retail employee with a written work schedule no later than 72 hours before the first shift on the work schedule. A retail employer must also conspicuously post in a location that is accessible and visible to all retail employees at the work location the work schedule of all the retail employees at that work location at least 72 hours before the beginning of the scheduled hours of work, and must update the schedule and directly notify affected retail employees after making changes to the work schedule.

Note: Upon request by a retail employee, a retail employer must provide the employee with such employee's work schedule in writing for any week worked within the prior 3 years and the most current version of the work schedule for all retail employees at that work location, whether or not changes to the work schedule have been posted.

For more details, including requirements and exceptions, please see the text of the law.

Effective Dates and Additional Information
All the local laws discussed above were enacted into law on May 30, 2017 and generally take effect 180 days after they became law (see the text of the respective laws for specific details). The package of local laws also includes a measure regarding pay deductions for contributions to not-for-profit organizations ("Introduction Number 1384-A"), which expires and is deemed repealed 2 years after such effective date.

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