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New Law Brings End to Abusive Scheduling Practices

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and State Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito recently announced a new group of laws aimed at protecting low-wage earners in the city by ensuring scheduling and a variety of other rights.

The bill is intended to put an end to the abusive scheduling practices that often occur in the fast food and retail industries, and to prevent last minute shift changes for workers.

New York City the third and largest city in the country to implement a law such as this.

The new scheduling regulation was announced during a rally at City Hall that was held in honor of the “Fair Workweek” bill being passed into law. One of the group of laws makes predictable work schedules – and predictable paychecks – a right for those working in retail or in fast food restaurants throughout the city.

Additionally, the group of laws includes:

  • The requirement that employers create and share information with employees about their work schedules at least 14 days in advance. Should a change be deemed necessary, each will require a penalty payment to the employee of $10 to $75.
  • An end to the practice of booking employees for back-to-back shifts. Worker must receive at least 11 hours off between shifts, unless they request back-to-bac shifts, in which case the employer must pay them $100.
  • Chains must offer shifts to existing employees before hiring new employees, which is intended to give part-time workers “a path to additional hours and full-time employment” if it’s what they want.
  • Worker ability to deduct part of their salary and donate it to a non-profit organization. Earmarked money can be donated to groups that fight for worker rights. This is the first law of its kind in the country.

Workers Can Make Decisions Knowing their Schedules and Paychecks are Consistent

The bill puts into action the promises the mayor had given voters to end inconsistent and unfair scheduling practices, and to hold retail and fast food businesses in the city accountable. Now, workers at these establishments can feel secure about their earnings and about their work schedules, which means low-wage earners will be able to seek additional employment, attend school, or plan for care for loved ones with less hassle and confusion. The bill will go into effect in about 180 days.

According to Mayor de Blasio, “Last fall, we promised to make the lives of some of our city’s hardest working just a little bit easier by bringing fair, predictable scheduling to their jobs. These bills deliver on that promise. Predictable schedules and predictable paychecks should be a right, not a privilege. With this legislation, we are continuing to build a fairer and more equitable city for all New Yorkers.”

Speak Melissa Mark-Viverito was also at the rally and added to the mayor’s statement, “The City Council is proud to have passed the Fair Work Week legislative package – the most comprehensive and progressive package of its kind nationwide – by a nearly unanimous vote. These measures represent significant steps forward in protecting local fast food and retail employees from unfair, unsustainable and unpredictable workplace practices and environments. I applaud my colleagues for their work on this essential issue, and I thank Mayor de Blasio for signing it into law today.”

Bill Protects Workers Against Efforts by President Trump to Undermine Workers’ Rights Progress

According to Council Member Brad Lander, the Council’s Deputy Leader of Policy, these bills will be instrumental in protecting New York workers from the efforts made by the President’s administration to undermine progress in the city concerning workers’ rights. He went on to thank the mayor and Speaker Mark-Viverito for their work in passing the bill.

According to Council Member Corey Johnson, the bill will ensure employees are treated with “dignity and respect” and will have an immediate impact on their lives. Other council members echoed the statements of Lander and Johnson and believe the bill is going to positively impact New York City’s workforce.

Rabbi Michel Feinberg, Executive Director of the Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition praised the bill and those who worked to get it passed, and said The Fair Work Week legislation passed by the City Council represents another important victory by fast food and retail workers to have dignity, justice and a living wage on the job. This legislation provides an inspiring example to low-waged and immigrant workers across the country, struggling to improve their lives and working conditions, especially at a time of increased anti-worker attacks. The faith community stands with the workers, and applauds their hard won success.”

Fair wages and dignity in employment are a cornerstone to the workforce. Once this law is official – it’s set to go into effect six months from its signing, in November 2017, your employer will be required to abide by its requirements. If your company violates the law in any way or fails to provide you with a consistent and predictable schedule at least two weeks in advance, contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. to discuss your situation.




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