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Legal Update - December 2017 Newsletter

Yogi Patel - Friday, December 01, 2017

Dear valued clients and supporters: This month's newsletter will focus on a new law that impacts NYC employers and employees in the fast food and retail industries. The law went into effect on November 26, 2017.

Under the Fair Workweek Law, fast food employees have the right to:

1. Good Faith Estimate of Schedule:
On or before workers’ first day of work, employers must provide written schedules for the first two weeks of work with hours, dates, start and end times of shifts and written “Good Faith Estimates” (days, times, hours, locations you can expect to work during your employment). Employers must provide an updated estimate if the estimate changes.

2. Advanced Notice of Work Schedules:
Employers must give workers their written work schedule at least 14 days before their first shift in the schedule. Schedules must include at least seven calendar days with dates, shift start and end times, and location(s) of all shifts. If the schedule changes, employers must contact all affected workers within 24 hours, or as soon as possible.

3. Priority to Work Newly Available Shifts:
Before hiring a new employee when new shifts become available, employers must advertise shifts to existing workers in NYC first by: 1) posting information at the worksite where the shifts have become available and by directly providing the information to workers electronically, which may include via text or email; 2) giving priority to work open shifts to workers at the worksite where shifts are available; 3) giving shifts to interested workers from other worksites only when no or not enough workers from the worksite accept. Employers can only hire new workers if no current NYC workers accept the shifts by the posted deadline.

4. Consent Plus $100 for “Clopening” Shifts:

Employers cannot schedule workers to work two shifts over two days when the first shift ends a day and when there are less than 11 hours between shifts (a “clopening”) UNLESS workers consent in writing AND are paid a $100 premium to work the shift.

Under the Fair Workweek Law, retail employees have the right to:


1. 72 Hours’ Advance Notice of Work Schedule:
Employers must give workers their written work schedule at least 72 hours before the start of the schedule in the way the employer usually contacts workers, which may include via text and email. They must post the schedule at the workplace where all workers can see it. This schedule must include dates, shift start and end times, and location(s) of all shifts in the work schedule. If the schedule is changed, employers must update and repost the schedule and contact all affected workers.

2. No On-call Shifts:
Employers cannot require workers to be ready and available to work at any time the employer demands, regardless of whether workers actually work or report to work; or to “check in” within 72 hours of a scheduled shift to find out if they should report for the shift.

3. No Shift Additions with Less than 72 Hours’ Notice:

If employers want to add time or shifts to your schedule less than 72 hours before the change, workers have the right to accept or decline the change. If workers accept an additional shift, they must do so in writing.

4. No Shift Cancellations with Less than 72 Hours’ Notice:

Employers cannot cancel a shift less than 72 hours before the start of the shift except under the following circumstances: threats to worker safety or employer property, public utility failure, shutdown of public transportation, fire, flood, or other natural disaster, or a government-declared state of emergency. However, workers may trade shifts voluntarily.


Employers are advised to tailor their policies accordingly.

Readers are encouraged to follow us on Twitter (@lloydpatelllp) and Facebook to receive updates on these and other issues throughout the month.


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