United States: NYC Council Introduces Suite Of Worker Protection Bills, In Likely Sign Of Things To Come

As we noted in an earlier post, the election of Donald J. Trump likely means that states and municipalities—and not the federal government—will lead the charge on worker-protection issues for the next four years. In this vein, the New York City Council introduced a series of bills on December 6 aimed at tightening restrictions and penalizing retail and fast food employers for last-minute changes in employee scheduling and offering greater protections for all New York City employees seeking flexibility in their working arrangements.

Retail Employee Scheduling

Int. No. 1387 applies to retail employers, defined as businesses with five or more employees engaged in the sale of consumer goods, including but not limited to appliances, clothing, electronics, groceries, and other household items. The bill would, among other things:

  • Ban "on-call hours" or "on-call shifts," defined as any time a retail employee is required to be available to work and to contact the employer or wait to be contacted by the employer to determine whether the employee must report to work;
  • Prohibit employers from cancelling scheduled hours of work within 72 hours of the start time of the shift, unless the employee consents in writing;
  • Prohibit employers from requiring a retail employee to work with fewer than 72 hours' notice, unless the employee consents in writing;
  • Prohibit employers from providing a retail employee with less than 20 hours of work during any 14-day period (offset by any hours an employee elects to take as paid or unpaid leave during that 14-day period); and
  • Require employers to post a physical copy of the work schedule of all employees at that work location at least 72 hours prior to the beginning of the scheduled hours of work, and to directly notify affected employees as soon as practicable if changes are made to the schedule.

The bill would not prevent a retail employer from allowing employees, on short notice, to request time off or to swap shifts upon mutual agreement. Employees under a collective bargaining agreement would not be covered by the law, so long as: (i) the provisions of the law are expressly waived; and (ii) the agreement provides for a "comparable or superior benefit" for covered employees.

A separate bill—Int. No. 1396, discussed below—would create a new "fair work week" section of the City Administrative Code covering retail employees, including a complaint mechanism with penalties to be administered by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Fast Food Employee Scheduling

The second set of bills addresses scheduling for fast food employees, defined as non-salaried employees in fast food establishments whose duties include customer service, cooking, food or drink preparation, delivery, security, stocking supplies or equipment, cleaning, or routine maintenance.

"Fast food establishments" are those that (i) have as their primary purpose serving food or drink items; (ii) where patrons order or select items and pay before eating and such items may be consumed on the premises, taken out or delivered to the customer's location; (iii) offer limited service; (iv) are part of a chain; and (v) are one of 30 or more establishments nationally, including franchises.

  • Int. No. 1388 would require a minimum of 11 hours between the end of one shift and the start of another, absent a request by, or written consent of, the employee. The bill would also require fast food employers to pay an employee who works such a shift $100 per instance.
  • Int. No. 1395 would require fast food employers to offer additional work shifts in a given location first to current employees at that location before hiring additional employees or subcontractors (including through temporary service or staffing agencies). The bill would also require fast food employers to post notice of shifts being offered and "make reasonable efforts" to offer employees "training opportunities to gain the skills and experience to perform work for which the employer typically has additional needs."
  • Int. No. 1396 would, among other things, require fast food employers to provide employees with a "good faith estimate" of their work schedule upon hire and, going forward, provide employees with a written work schedule covering a period of no less than seven days by no later than 14 days before the start of the schedule. The bill would further require employers to pay premiums of $15 to $45 per shift for schedule changes made on less than 14 days' notice, and a $75 per shift premium if hours are reduced or cancelled less than 24 hours' before the start of the shift. As noted above, the bill would also create a new "fair work week" section of the City Administrative Code that includes a complaint mechanism for fast food employees via the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Also introduced was Int. No. 1384, which would allow fast food employees to authorize voluntary contributions to covered not-for-profit organizations to be deducted from the employee's paycheck and remitted to the organization by the fast food employer. Contributions would be required to be remitted to the organization(s) by no later than 15 days following the deduction.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Int. No. 1399 would prohibit all employers—including, but not limited to, retail and fast food employers—from retaliating against an employee for requesting a "flexible work arrangement" (defined as including such things as schedule modifications, additional shifts or hours, limitations on availability, working at a different location or from home, or job sharing). The bill would require employers to engage in an "interactive process" regarding flexible work arrangement requests at least once each calendar quarter if requested by an employee, and would require a good faith response to an employee's request within 14 days.

The bill also would create a "right" for employees to receive a temporary change to work arrangements in the event of (i) a caregiving emergency involving a covered family member or a personal health emergency (if the employee has not yet accrued paid sick leave, has exhausted all sick leave or sick leave does not otherwise apply to the situation) or (ii) the employee or a family member having been the victim of a family offense matter (as defined in the bill), a sexual offense or stalking. Such changes would be required to be provided up to four times a year and for one business day per request.

Int. 1399 would also require employers to provide each employee expected to work hours on a set schedule with a copy of that schedule in writing upon hire, including the number of hours, times and locations that the employee is expected to work.

If passed, each of the bills would take effect 180 days following adoption. We will continue to monitor these pending bills and report on any further developments.

NYC Council Introduces Suite of Worker Protection Bills, In Likely Sign of Things to Come

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.