(Corrects by removing retail workers from the 65,000 total in
By Peter Szekely
NEW YORK May 30 New York on Tuesday became the
third and largest major U.S. city to guarantee a measure of
scheduling smoothness to fast food workers, whose lives are
often disrupted by last-minute changes based on their employers'
Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of bills that the city
estimates will cover some 65,000 fast food workers. A key
component of the package is a requirement that fast food
restaurants schedule their workers at least two weeks in advance
or pay extra for shift changes.
"Predictable schedules and predictable paychecks should be a
right, not a privilege," de Blasio said before signing the
legislation into law. "With these bills, we are continuing to
build a fairer and more equitable city for all New Yorkers."
The legislation also ensures that fast food workers have
breaks of at least 11 hours between shifts and are given the
option of working additional hours before their employers hire
extra workers. San Francisco and Seattle have already enacted
The New York State Restaurant Association said the penalties
for changing workers' shifts - ranging from $10 to $75 per
change - will raise costs and add burdensome record-keeping
"This legislation unfortunately is going to hurt these quick
service establishments, many of which are franchises and are
owned by what you would deem small business owners," said Kevin
Dugan, the group's regional director.
With several states and municipalities having increased
their minimum wages to as high as $15 an hour in recent years,
scheduling in the often unstable fast-food sector has become the
new frontier for unions and advocates for low-wage workers.
Supporters of the legislation, which include the Service
Employees International Union and several other unions, say fast
food workers frequently have shifts eliminated at the last
minute, or added at times that may conflict with other jobs or
child care needs.
Similar scheduling measures for fast food, retail or other
workers have been introduced in several states and are pending
in Connecticut, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York,
Oregon and Texas, according to the National Conference of State
The New York City package, which takes effect in six months,
also would ban unpaid on-call scheduling of retail employees and
would enable fast-food workers to contribute voluntarily to
worker advocacy groups or other non-profit groups, but not
unions, through payroll deduction.
(Reporting by Peter Szekely; Editing by Dan Grebler)