The Top 10 Things Every NYC Fair Workweek Employer Needs to Know

by Krista Hardwick, · 3 minutes

Hard to believe but it’s been almost two years since New York City enacted the Fair Workweek Law covering fast food chains and retailers in the city.

Everybody must have figured it all out by now, right? Wrong.

This complex law is filled with nuances that leave even the most experienced employers struggling to understand how to comply. Check out this event if you want an in-person discussion on the latest regulations.

And read on for a quick recap of the top 10 things every Fair Workweek employer should know.

1. What employers does the law apply to?

Although you might manage hourly workers, the New York Fair Workweek law doesn’t impact everyone. The law applies to two categories of employers:

  • Fast food chains with 30 or more locations in the USA
  • Retailers that primarily sell consumer goods and have 20 or more employees in New York City

2. How much advance notice of the work schedule must employers provide?  

If you typically send out new schedules a day or two in advance, listen up. These regulations require that employers give staff ample notice of when they’ll be working.

  • Fast food employers must provide at least 14 days’ notice of work schedules
  • Retailers must provide at least 3 days’ notice

3. What if the schedule needs to be changed after schedules are created?

It happens. For a variety of reasons, you might need to adjust the schedule. But there are laws to make sure you’re doing it in a fair way.

Fast food employers may change the schedule but only if the employee consents in writing, and receives “predictability pay.” Predictability pay is additional money that the employer owes the employee if the schedule is changed within a certain time period.

And while fast food employers have a little leeway, retailers may not change the schedule within the 3-day notice period.

4. What the heck is a clopening shift?

“Clopening” refers to a shift where a worker is required to close the store at night, and then come back to open it the next morning and there are less than 11 hours between the two shifts.

5. That sounds convenient. Can I require my workers to work clopenings?

Not if you are a fast food chain. In that case, the only way an employee can work a clopening shift is if the employee consents in writing and you pay a $100 premium to the employee.

6. What about on-call shifts? Can I require my workers to be “on call” and come in if I need them?

Nope. Not if you are a covered retail employer. On-call shifts are now banned.

7. What if the worker consents, and I pay them premium pay for the on-call shift?

Nope. Not even then. On-call shifts are completely banned for all covered retailers.

8. I like to keep overtime pay down, so my employees are all part-time. Can I hire new part-time workers if I need coverage for hours or shifts?

Not anymore. The Fair Workweek Law requires covered employers to offer available hours or shifts to existing employees before hiring any new workers.

9. What if giving the hours to existing workers would trigger overtime pay for them?

Then, and only then, may covered employers hire outside workers to fill the shifts.

10. This is confusing. Are there any tools available to help make compliance with New York’s Fair Workweek Law easier?

Absolutely! Deputy is a powerful scheduling and workforce management app that makes compliance easier.

Everything you need to know about NYC and Fair Workweek

There’s a lot to take it when it comes to employment laws. Want more information? Join Deputy on November 7 for Facts for a Fairer Future where we’ll break down the New York City regulations that you need to know. Employment law experts from Seyfarth Shaw LLP will be on hand to answer all of your Fair Workweek questions.

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