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What You Need to Know about New York’s Temporary Schedule Change Law

43057510New York’s Temporary Schedule Change Law

In July 2018, a New York City law went into effect that made it a requirement for employers to grant up to two temporary schedule changes for employees dealing with “personal events.”

The new law, called NYC Temporary Schedule Change Law, applies to all New York City employees who have been employed at least 120 days and who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year.

There are some exceptions related to workers already covered by schedule change provisions under collective bargaining agreements and for some who work in certain industries, such as theater or television. It also does not apply to federal, state, or local government employees. Otherwise, all employees in New York City enjoy the protections provided by the law.

Reasons for Schedule Changes

According to the law, employees who are protected can request up to two changes per year of up to one business day or one two-day change per year.

Requests for changes can include the use of:

  • Unpaid time off
  • Change in work location
  • Paid time off
  • Working remotely
  • Shifting scheduled work hours
  • Swapping shifts with another employee

Under the law, schedule change requests can be made for a variety of reasons, including the need to provide care for a minor child, attend legal proceedings or hearings for subsistence benefits, or for any reason that constitutes a basis for safe time or sick time under New York City’s Earned Sick and Safe Time Act.

You can learn more about NYC’s Earned Sick and Safe Time Act here.

How Can an Employee Request a Schedule Change?

The exact procedure for requesting a schedule change varies from employer to employer, but in general, you’ll need to provide oral notice of the request to your direct supervisor. In the initial request, which does not need to be in writing, you’ll need to ask for a proposed schedule change and explain that the need is due to an appropriate personal event.

Your employer is required to respond immediately, but again, this does not need to be in writing. However, once the request has been discussed verbally, the employee must then submit a request in writing or via email indicating the date of the change and reiterate that it was due to a personal event.

In response, an employer must submit a written response within 14 days after receiving the employee request indicating whether it is agreeable to the change as proposed or if it will allow for the change to be used as leave without pay or if they are denying the request. If the request is denied, an explanation for the denial must be provided.

Additionally, the employer must include how many requests and how many business days are remaining for the employee to make additional requests.

If no written request is submitted, employers are not held accountable for responding in writing.

Requests must be granted unless an employee has used up his or her allotment of requests for the year.

Employees are allowed to make additional requests for temporary schedule changes, but the law does not provide protection for additional requests, so employers have a right to deny requests that extend beyond an employee’s allotment of changes. Despite having the right to deny the request, they must do so according to the guidelines and deny the written request in writing.

Employers are not permitted to retaliate against an employee who makes a schedule change request, even if more than the allotted number of requests are made within a given year.

Have You Been Denied a Schedule Change Request?

This law is relatively new and employers and employees are still adjusting to it. However, this adjustment period does not give an employer the right to deny your rights under the law.

If you have had a request for a temporary schedule change denied, we can help. Contact Borrelli & Associates, P.L.L.C. for more information.

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