NYC Proposed Legislation for Fast Food Restaurants

Recently the New York City Council has proposed bills that could affect considerably how fast food restaurants deal with scheduling work.

What is a fast food restaurant?

The bills define fast food establishments as franchises that are part of a chain of 30 or more restaurants nationally. The establishments provide limited customer service and customers order and pay for food and drinks before eating.

Here are some factors the bills address:

“Clopening.” One bill addresses a scheduling situation coined as “clopening.” Clopening is when an employer schedules an employee to close on one shift and open on the next shift. This bill would require the employer to schedule a break of more than 11 hours between employees’ shifts unless a employee consents to the schedule. Failure to do so would result in paying the employee $100 for each instance of “clopening.”

Predictive scheduling. Fast food employers would be required to post a notice of employee’s rights and notify employees 14 days in advance of their work schedule, and this includes employees just hired. To any employee, whose schedule is changed with less than a 14 days notice, the employer would have to pay $15 to $45 per instance. Changes would include cancelling, shortening or moving a shift. When a change results in reducing a shift with less than 24 hours notice, the employer would pay a premium of $75. Employees seeking damages would have a cause of action with a two-year statute of limitations.

Path to full-time employment or additional hours. Another proposed bill would require employers to provide fast food workers with a path toward additional hours and full-time employment. The bill would require that employers offer available shifts to current employers at their location before hiring more workers. The employer would have to post a notice for three consecutive days when shifts become available.

Overall, How Does the Proposed Legislation Affect Fast Food Restaurants?

If the proposed legislation passes, employers of fast-food restaurants will experience greater stress in their efforts to be flexible while dealing with high employee turnover rates and labor costs.

Stephen Hans & Associates assists small and medium sized business owners with employment and labor law issues.


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