Recently, New York City passed the “Fair Work Week” legislative package — four laws that aim to persuade predictable schedules to over 65,000 fast food and retail workers. The Fair Work Week package includes 5 separate bills (Int 1384-2016, Int 1387-2016, Int 1388-2016, Int 1395-2016, and Int 1396-2016). These predictive scheduling laws report to protect retail and fast food employees from unfavorable scheduling practices. Opponents of the bill state schedule flexibility is actually desired by most employees and costs will be pushed to the consumer. NY follows San Francisco and Seattle in passing of a similar bill with Chicago not far behind.
The new bill, going into effect on Nov 26th, 2017 will require employers to:
- Give employees written notice of schedules no less than 14 days in advance.
- If a schedule changes within 2 weeks, the employer must pay the employee $10 to $75 depending on the situation.
- Stop the practice of “clopening”— scheduling workers to work closing shifts and then opening shifts on consecutive days. Employees must have 11 hours off between shifts, but if they work sooner, the business must pay the worker $100.
- Give current employees the option to take new shifts before hiring any new employees. This will allow existing employees to option to move from part time to full time employment or give them the additional hours they want.
- Allow employees to deduct part of their salary for donation to a nonprofit.
Predictive scheduling laws are becoming the latest trend in workplace regulations. Over the past year, these “fair scheduling” laws have been passed by San Francisco, Seattle and several other cities as legislators and labor organizations have become more active in pushing for additional benefits for employees.
“It’s safe to assume, that predictable scheduling laws will be proposed in many of the same cities where coalitions have pushed for a $15 minimum wage and mandatory paid sick leave,” says, Bryan O’Connor, an attorney with Jackson Lewis P.C. He adds, “But it creates more delays and complexity for employers that need to quickly resolve scheduling issues.”
These predictive scheduling laws might be coming to a city near you, so what can your business can do to comply to these new regulations?
- 1. Know If Your Business Is Impacted
- If you offer food, guests order and pay before receiving their food, provide limited service, and/or are part of a national franchise brand with 30 or more locations, you will likely fall under the fast-food designation.
- If your retail store has 20 or more employees at one or multiple stores that sell consumer goods or your store is part of a retail chain, all the employees in that establishment must be counted.
- 2. Educate Your Scheduling Managers
With the number of changes, your lowest level managers who handle schedules, call-outs, etc. need to know the new rules and have a plan for compliance. Download the Littler Compliance Toolkit to get started with creating that plan.
- 3. Provide Notice by Hanging the New Posters
Notice: According to Littler, “The Fair Workplace legislative package directs the creation of an office of labor standards. The director of that office is required to publish posters that outline all of the rights and protections created by this package. These notices will be available on the New York City website for download.
Every fast food and retail employer is required to post a copy of these notices in a conspicuous location, provided that any employee works at a job site covered by the new laws. For the scheduling laws, the employer will also be required to post the notice in English and in any other language spoken by at least five percent of the employees at that job site.
- 4. Keep and Maintain Records
Employers must now save 3 years of data pertaining to offered hours, schedule changes, time off requests, shift swap requests from employees, shift change requests from employees in writing, shift cancellations, and more — furthermore, the employer is required to provide schedule changes via electronic means if the schedule is routinely provided via similar electronic means.
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