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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
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NYC Mayor to Introduce Fast Food Worker Scheduling Bill

New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, plans to introduce a law that would force fast food restaurants to schedule shifts in advance.

The legislation, which Mr. de Blasio intends to draft with the City Council, is expected to include the following changes, according to a statement from the administration:

  • Require fast food employers to schedule a majority of expected shifts and publicly post a workplace schedule two weeks in advance.
  • Force employers to provide additional compensation when workers are required to accommodate last-minute changes to their schedules for reasons within employers’ ability to plan or control.
  • Address problems created by the practice of “clopenings,” or shifts that require employees to consecutively work closing and opening shifts with fewer than ten hours between due to the many state regulations NYC restaurants already face.

Because the Mayor’s proposed legislation would only apply to New York City, and would specifically target fast food establishments, there is a prevailing opinion that the proposed ordinance will pass. I recently wrote about similar legislation proposed in California, which died before reaching the Governor’s desk. California cities will no doubt keep a watchful eye on the New York City legislation, and we may be in for a legislative trend in cities with larger concentrations of low-income food service workers.

Though the legislation would only affect fast food restaurants if passed, with time we may see efforts to extend the reach of the law to other restaurants within New York City. As restaurant owners and operators endeavor to stay competitive in the market, regulations like the one proposed by Mr. de Blasio place further strain on the industry. M&R will stay abreast of the issue, and report on any new developments.

This blog post is not offered as, and should not be relied on as, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice in specific situations.