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Recent Scheduling Laws Passed for Fast Food and Retail Workers in NYC

Recent Scheduling Laws for Fast Food and Retail Workers

Add New York City to the growing list of municipalities that have adopted “predictive scheduling” laws to improve job stability in the historically unstable restaurant industry.

The “Fair Workweek Law” went into effect in November 2017, requiring fast food employers in New York City to give workers good-faith estimates of when and how much they will work, predictable work schedules, and the opportunity to work newly available shifts before hiring new workers.

Fast food employers must post the notice, “You have a right to a predictable work schedule” where it is clearly visible at the workplace.

Specifically, the Fair Workweek Law requires fast food employers to provide two weeks& notice of schedules and pay premiums for schedule changes, according to New York City Rules.

The Fair Workweek law also requires employers to:

  • Offer open shifts to existing fast food employees before hiring new ones
  • Ban “clopenings” (back-to-back closing and opening shifts) for fast food employees
  • Ban on-call scheduling for retail employees
  • Give retail employees 72 hours’ notice of schedules

The Advantages and Drawbacks of Predictive Scheduling

With a goal to deter spur-of-the-moment changes, predictive scheduling laws impose penalties for employers who change work schedules on the fly.

The premise is a great one for affected employees because it lends stability to jobs that are typically volatile. Generally speaking, here’s how it works: Employers provide work schedules a few weeks in advance, guaranteeing employees a certain base pay should their hours unexpectedly be reduced. The scenario guarantees workers set wages — no matter what — so they can pay their bills and plan for other expenses.

Coordinating schedules under the recent requirements can get complicated, however. For example, demand for workers can vary according to weather, the season and special sales — and predictive scheduling laws put businesses on the hook for employees they might not need or a change in circumstance that can’t be anticipated.

Predictive scheduling also can hinder employers from offering extra shifts on short notice because they would be penalized for last-minute schedule changes.

It’s A New Year: Prepare Your Business for Predictive Scheduling in 2018:

Small businesses in New York City can ensure compliance with the recent law by:

  • Using scheduling software to schedule employee shifts and document changes and requests in advance.
  • Updating employee handbooks to include the latest regulations employees should be aware of.
  • Understanding the penalties of noncompliance, including fines between $10 and $75 and even class-action lawsuits.

Remain Compliant with Reliable Scheduling

Create shift schedules more easily and affordably, while also meeting the demands of predictive scheduling. TrackSmart Scheduling software lets employers create and send schedules to employees in advance and restricts them from scheduling back to back shifts.

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