Mayor Bill de Blasio recently signed the Fair Workweek legislation, which is a series of laws that go into effect on December 1, 2017. The laws are designed to create more predictable work scheduled for fast food workers in New York City.
Law Number 1 requires fast food employers to provide written notice to the employee of his/her work schedule, including regular and on-call shifts, at least fourteen (14) days before the employee’s first day of the new schedule. The written notice must be posted in a conspicuous place at the workplace visible and accessible to all employees. As well, the schedule must be transmitted to each employee, including by email if that is a method regularly used to communicate with employees. If there is a modification to the employee’s work schedule within the fourteen (14) days that the schedule is to commence, the employer can face penalties of $10 to $75, which depends on the nature of the modification, and which must be paid directly to the employee.
Law Number 2 states that there must be a minimum amount of time between the employee’s shifts. Generally, an employee will no longer be required to work a schedule with two shifts less than eleven (11) hours between the end of the first shift and beginning of the second shift when the first shift expands over two calendar days. However, the employee can waive this prohibition by consenting in writing to working back-to-back shifts less than eleven (11) hours apart. If there is no consent, the employer will have to pay a $100 penalty for scheduling infractions.
Law Number 3 prevents employers from hiring new employees, including subcontractors, to work regular or on-call shifts before it exhausts use of its current workforce. Therefore, when a shift becomes available, the employer is required to post a notice – in a conspicuous and accessible place for employees, as well as transmit the notice directly to such employees – setting forth, among other things, the number of shifts offered, the schedule of the shifts, whether the shifts will occur at the same time each week, the length of time required for coverage, and the number of workers required for coverage. If none of the current employees accept the shift, the employer may look to outside employment.
Law Number 4 permits fast food employees to authorize the employer to deduct voluntary contributions from the employee’s paycheck and to remit the payment directly to the employee’s designated non-profit organization. The deduction must be at least $6.00 and only once per pay period.
With the upcoming changes, it is important to understand if you are covered under the new law and how to comply. For questions, please contact the Law Offices of Yale Pollack, P.C.