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Review of New York Retail and Fast Food Scheduling Laws in 2017

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The five New York state laws that went into effect in November of 2017 include Int. No. 1384, 1388, 1395, 1396, and 1387-A. These are workplace laws meant to regulate employee-scheduling aspects including breaks between shifts, predictable hours, and on-call scheduling in the fast food and retail industries. The first four laws apply to the fast food industry and in summary are related to voluntary contributions to not-for-profit organizations, rest between shifts, extra hours, and predictable scheduling. The last applies to retail on-call scheduling.

Int. No. 1384 provides employees the opportunity to make voluntary contributions to not-for-profit organizations through payroll deductions. The Committee on Civil Service and Labor was behind this legislation. Part of the text relays, “A fast food employer shall, upon authorization from a fast food employee and upon receipt of a registration letter as provided in subdivision b of section 20-1303 pertaining to the relevant not-for-profit, deduct voluntary contributions from such fast food employee’s paycheck and remit them to the not-for-profit designated by such fast food employee.”

Int. No. 1388 states, “Minimum time between shifts. Unless the fast food employee requests or consents to work such hours in writing, no fast food employer shall require any fast food employee to work two shifts with fewer than 11 hours between the end of the first shift and the beginning of the second shift when the first shift ends the previous calendar day or spans two calendar days. The fast food employer shall pay the fast food employee $100 for each instance that the employee works such shifts.” Ensuring proper breaks are given between shifts when you have many locations and employees can be difficult. Many companies opt to use fast food employee scheduling software to assist in making sure proper length is reached between shifts.

Int. No. 1395 surrounds access to hours for fast food employees. In length, the law details how fast food employers are to distribute additional hours among employees before hiring additional employees to fill shifts.  

Int. No. 1396 details how employers are to provide advance notice of work schedules to fast food employees, and employers are required to provide a schedule change premium when hours are changed after required notices. The law details what work schedule means though stating, “The term “work schedule” means the regular shifts and on-call shifts that an employer assigns to an employee and includes the dates, times and locations where an employer requires an employee to work.” These work schedules are to be provided 14 days in advance. Should they receive less notice than 14 days there is a premium employees must be paid between $10-$75 depending upon how late the schedule is distributed.

Int. No. 1387-A relates to retail employees and prohibiting on-call scheduling, and regulations surrounding advance notice of work schedules. The law details, “Work schedules. a. A retail employer shall provide a retail employee with a written work schedule no later than 72 hours before the first shift on the work schedule.” There are certain exceptions to this regulation regarding employees that are part of collective bargaining agreements.

Keeping track of breaks between shifts, and making sure employees receive schedules by the deadlines can be time consuming. Using tools such as retail employee scheduling software makes ensuring a business is operating within these parameters more achievable.