The NYC Fair Workweek Law
Fast food and retail stores located in New York City are about to encounter strict laws protecting hourly employees and the consistency and flexibility of their schedules and paychecks. On May 30, 2017, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed five bills known as the NYC Fair Workweek laws (otherwise known as predictive scheduling laws).
“Predictable schedules and predictable paychecks should be a right, not a privilege” – Mayor Bill de Blasio
The five-law package mandates that workers must receive their schedules two weeks in advance, restricts clopenings (unless employers have a written consent), bans on-call shifts, and requires fast food employers to offer any new shifts to existing workers before hiring a new worker. These laws apply to all covered employees–regardless of immigration status.
Fast Food and Retailers who aren’t prepared for this law will face steep fines or go out of business. Among 10+ other worker compliance hot topics, these predictive scheduling laws are becoming the new darling for class-action plaintiff attorneys. Small mom and pop shops, as well as franchise and powerhouse brands, must wake up in order to avoid harsh penalties.
Many states and cities have already or are in the process of enacting their own predictive scheduling laws. In order for your business to stay prepared, the team here at Deputy have created a downloadable eBook outlining these laws. Several U.S. states and cities have already adopted predictive scheduling legislation. See if your business has or will be affected by these predictive scheduling legislations and prepare your business today.
Deputy & Littler Law Webinar
Deputy recorded a webinar (below) with Angelo Spinola of Littler Law to cover the NYC law that you can find below.
Links to additional compliance and legal updates/resources:
- Littler News and Analysis — Newsletter of Legal Updates by Industry and State
- Predictive Scheduling Laws: Coming to a jurisdiction near you (HR Drive)
- New York City Enacts Laws Limiting Employer’s Flexibility to Schedule Staff (Littler)
- Who Could Have Predicted? Fair Scheduling Requirements Pose Compliance Challenges for Retail, Restaurant and Other Employers (Littler)
- What Employers Need to Know About New York’s Fair Workweek Law
- Predictive Scheduling: What Accountants, Bookkeepers, & Consultants Need to Know
- Maintaining Compliance in California’s Predictive Scheduling Regions
- No Need To Predict: Heres How To Prepare For Oregon’s Predictive Scheduling Laws
- Philadelphia Could Become the Next City to Pass Fair Scheduling Laws
- Ontario’s Labor Laws for Fair Workplaces and Better Jobs Act
Overview of NYC Fair Workweek Requirements
The NYC Predictive Scheduling aka the ‘Fair’ Work Week law went into effect on November 26th, 2017. The law includes five separate bills (Int 1384-2016, Int 1387-2016, Int 1388-2016, Int 1395-2016, and Int 1396-2016). Following is a summary outlining the basics of the laws:
- Advance Scheduling and Schedule Change Premiums: This section requires fast food employers to provide a written Good Faith Estimate of the days, times, locations, and total number of hours that a fast food worker can expect to work each week; 14 days’ (2 weeks’) notice of work schedules to fast food workers; and schedule change premiums when schedules are changed with less than 14 days’ notice.
- Minimum Time between Shifts: This section requires that a fast food worker consent in writing before being scheduled to work or working two (2) shifts over two (2) calendar days when the first shift ends a day and there are less than 11 hours between shifts. These shifts, known as “clopenings,” usually involve both closing and opening the establishment. The fast food employer must pay the fast food worker a $100 premium for working a clopening shift.
- Access to Hours: This section requires fast food employers to offer any new shifts to existing workers at the location where shifts are available, followed by existing workers from other worksites before advertising new shifts externally or hiring a new employee. If existing workers do not accept open shifts, employers may then advertise for new workers. Notice of new shifts available must be posted or sent electronically.
- On-Call Scheduling: Retail employers must post schedules 72 hours in advance and cannot cancel, change, or add any work shifts within 72 hours of a shift (except in emergency situations with written consent).
- Contributions to Nonprofits: This section provides fast food employees the ability to make voluntary contributions to a nonprofit organization through payroll deductions. The employer must receive a registration letter from the nonprofit and written authorization from the employee.
UPDATE: As of July 18, 2018, a new law was added to the NYC Fair Workweek Law package (Int. 1399-A) that requires employers to allow employees to make temporary changes to their work schedules for up to two business days a year for “personal events.” Under the act, employees can request different types of schedule changes including:
- A limited alteration in the hours, times or locations where they work.
- Using paid time off
- Working remotely
- Swapping or shifting work hours
- Using short-term unpaid leave
Which Businesses are Affected?
Fast Food Employers
The fast food law applies to all fast food employees, employers, and establishments working in New York City. The law defines a “fast food establishment” as one that serves food and drinks that customers order at the counter and for which they pay before receiving food; at which customers can take food to-go, eat inside, or have food delivered; that has limited services; and that is part of a chain or franchise system that has at least 30 locations across the United States.
All employees of a retail employer are covered regardless of position or job title. The retail-specific laws apply to any company that primarily engages in selling consumer goods that employ 20 or more employees working at one or more locations.
Exception: The law does not apply to any retail employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement in which the rights under the law are expressly waived and employee scheduling is addressed.
Fast food employee rights
- Good Faith Estimate of Schedule
- Advanced Notice of Work Schedules
- Consent plus $100 for “Clopening” shifts
- Priority to work newly available shifts
- Non-profit payroll deductions
Retail employee rights
- 72 Hours’ Advance Notice of Work Schedule
- No On-call Shifts
- 72-hour scheduling notice for any changes (including cancellations)
Penalties & and Fines
The Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS) within the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) will enforce the Fair Workweek Law. The OLPS is the largest municipal labor standards office in the country with a robust staff of attorneys, investigators, outreach, and education specialists, as well as research and policy analysts.
If an employee finds the employer in violation, they may file a complaint with the DCA within two years of the date they knew or should have known of the alleged violation.
Penalties for fast food restaurants include:
- $10 for each change in which additional hours or shifts are added, or which the date or start or end time of a shift is changed with no loss of hours, with less than 14 days’ notice but at least seven days’ notice;
- $15 for each change to which additional hours or shifts are added, or which the date or start or end time of a shift is changed with no loss of hours, with less than seven days’ notice;
- $20 for each change to the work schedule in which hours are subtracted from a shift or a shift is canceled, with less than 14 days’ notice but at least seven days’ notice;
- $45 for each instance in which hours are subtracted from a shift or a shift is canceled with less than seven days’ notice but at least 24 hours’ notice; and
- $75 for each instance in which hours are subtracted from a shift or a shift is canceled with less than 24 hours’ notice.
Fast food and retail employers may also be subject to the following fines:
- $500 for a first violation
- up to $750 for a second violation within a two-year period
- up to $1,000 for subsequent violations within a two-year period
What can employers do?
It’s safe to say that you will see many changes in how your company handles shift scheduling when and if these predictive scheduling laws pass in your state. It’s critical for business owners to prepare and understand these laws in order to stay compliant.
The tips below will help your business stay on the right side of the law:
An automated scheduling solution can save employers time and money. By implementing a scheduling software, managers are able to create schedules in advance, determine employee availability, allow adequate rest time between shifts, and maintain all of the operational rules you need to keep your business compliant. Deputy’s Auto-Scheduling feature (see below) can also help create the perfect schedule. Using AI technology, auto-scheduling can accurately forecast who needs to be scheduled when (and where); all with a single click of a button.
Another benefit of automating the scheduling process with scheduling software is that fulfills the record-keeping requirement of storing schedules for 3 years. With Deputy, your schedules are saved automatically for easy, long-term record-keeping. If you’re ready to take the headache out of scheduling, set up a call with a Deputy rep and take a tour of the product:
Employers should ensure that managers and employees are aware of the new policies and their obligations/rights under the new law. Covered employers should also take the time to train HR departments, payroll, and managerial staff on predictive scheduling workplace requirements. Updating any HR policies or employee handbooks will also prepare your business.
Striking that perfect balance between career, family, and outside work responsibilities have always been a challenge, especially for hourly employees. Balanced employees tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which leads to increases in productivity and reduces the number of conflicts among co-workers and management. In fact, the 2017 World Happiness Report reported that work-life balance is now one of the strongest predictors of happiness.
Providing schedules in advance allow for employees to prepare and adjust accordingly, thus preventing no-call no-shows. Not only do these laws benefit employees, but employers can also benefit from advanced scheduling knowing that they will have the right amount of shift workers at the right time.
Benefits of Deputy
Deputy can handle complex compliance laws that other workforce management software cannot. By implementing a software that is up-to-date and operates in compliance with these constantly evolving predictable scheduling laws, employers can rest easy knowing that their compliance issues are handled.
Benefits of Deputy include the following:
- Allow for shift swapping
- Save on overtime and time theft
- Customizable reporting functions
- Stress profile alerts that alert managers when employees are overscheduled
- Ability to sync schedules with payroll data to ensure accurate pay and control labor costs
- A communication hub for employers and employees to share updates and requests
- Onsite timeclock for clocking in & out
- Real-time alerts of scheduling issues
- Better record keeping with GPS and face-recognition clock-in options to capture an employee’s digital consent
- Mobile applications for Android, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch
- Access to long-term record-keeping through stored schedules
- Mandatory meal and rest breaks are automatically accounted for
These laws are meant to protect the work/life balance of your employees but they can also help your business save money, retain employees, and even attract more talented employees. If that doesn’t make you jump out of your seat then take a look at this stat: The cost to replace a $10 per hour employee = $3,328
Imagine the time and money your business can save by implementing the above tips. Turnover is costly and can become a burden for your business. By adhering to these laws your employees will be empowered and in control, thus benefiting your bottom line.
It is almost impossible for employers to comply with all of these labor laws without an intelligent workforce management software. Give yourself a peace-of-mind by trying out Deputy for a free 30-day trial below