New Compliance Obligations Proposed To Protect Retail & Fast Food Workers in NYC

March 20, 2017
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NYC Proposes New Protections for Retail and Fast Food Workers

Fast food restaurants and retailers operating in New York City should be prepared for additional compliance obligations in 2017. The New York City Council recently introduced several bills that would impact employers.NYC Proposes New Protections for Retail and Fast Food Workers

On-Call Scheduling of Retail Workers Banned

One bill, Int. No. 1387, would prohibit on-call scheduling for retail employees. On-call scheduling is when an employer requires an employee to be available to work, to contact the employer or to wait to be contacted by the employer, to determine whether the employee must report to work.

The proposed NYC employment law would also prohibit employers from providing a retail employee with less than 20 hours of work during any 14-day period. The requirement would, however, be offset by any hours an employee elects to take as leave, paid or unpaid, with the employer’s consent, during that 14-day period.

Employers would also be required to post a physical copy of the work schedule of all the employees at each work location at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of the scheduled hours of work. In addition, employers must also update the schedule and directly notify affected employees as soon as practicable after changes are made to the work schedule.

Requirements for Fast Food Scheduling

A series of additional bills would apply to worker scheduling at fast food establishments. Below is a brief summary:

  • Int. No. 1388

The bill would ban employers from requiring fast food workers to work back-to-back shifts when the first shift closes the establishment and the second shift opens it the next day, with fewer than 11 hours in between. The employer would be required to pay an employee who works a so-called “clopening” shift $100 for each instance that such employee works such shifts.

  • Int. No 1395

The bill would require fast food employers to offer work shifts to current employees before hiring additional employees.

  • Int. No. 1396

The bill would require would require certain fast food employers to provide employees with an estimate of their work schedule upon hire. It would also mandate that employers provide 14 days’ advance notice of work schedules to employees. Under Int. No. 1396, employers would be required to pay a premium to employees for schedule changes made by the employer on less than 14 days’ notice to the employee. Changes to schedules would include canceling, shortening, or moving shifts, adding additional hours to scheduled shifts, and adding shifts.

We will be closely monitoring the status of the above bills. While employers may get a reprieve from federal labor regulations under President Donald Trump, his policies will likely have little on the local level. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has made worker protection a centerpiece of his agenda and will likely continue to push for additional NYC employment laws.

Do you have any questions? Would you like to discuss the matter further? If so, please contact me, Jason Mushnick, at 201-806-3364.