A Fair Work Week for New Yorkers

A Fair Work Week for New Yorkers


City Council set to pass legislation to help fast-food & retail workers in NYC to win advance notice, stable schedules, a pathway to full-time hours, and a new way to work together. 

UPDATE: The City Council voted the Fair Work Week legislation out of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor on Monday, May 22 2017. Intros 1396-A (Two Weeks Advance Notice for Fast Food Workers), 1395-A (Access to Hours for Fast Food Workers), 1388-A (Restricts "Clopenings" for Fast Food Workers), Intro 1384-A (Payroll Deductions for Fast Food Workers)  and 1387-A (Banning On-Call Scheduling in Retail Establishments) are set to pass at the City Council Stated Meeting on Wednesday, May 24th 2017. On March 3rd, 2017, scores of workers and allies came out to testify in favor of the bills. Council Members and staff have met with many stakeholders, listening to their ideas, exploring ways to strengthen the package.  

Without a stable work schedule, who can build a stable life, pay the rent, arrange child care, or go to school? Much less buy new clothes for the kids, or go on a real vacation. Unfortunately, unpredictable schedules are all-too-common for low-income New Yorkers, especially in the low-wage retail and restaurant sectors.

New Yorkers working hard to pay the rent and feed their families should not be subject the whims of shift cancellations and last minute changes to their hours. These workers need more predictable schedules to support their families and have a stable life — which means not only knowing when they will work in advance, but also some flexibility to meet caregiving and medical needs, and (perhaps most important) a pathway to full-time hours for those who want them.

That is why the City Council introduced a package of legislation in December that would provide fast-food workers with advance notice of their schedules and ban “clopenings” (i.e. when workers are asked to close a business location at night and then return first thing in the morning to reopen the same business). It would offer a pathway to full-time work, by requiring employers to offer shifts to current part-time employees, before bringing on new ones. And it includes an innovative model for fast-food workers -- who have done so much to inspire us with their Fight for $15 -- to join and make voluntary charitable contributions to worker  organizations that help them advocate for their rights.

The legislation would also protect other retail workers (outside of fast-food) from abusive “on-call” scheduling, in which they are forced to wait by the phone to see whether they are working or not, and don’t get paid at all if they aren’t called.

The growing coalition of support for a fair work week includes Council Members Corey Johnson, Julissa Ferreras, Debi Rose, Laurie Cumbo, Danny Dromm, 32BJ SEIU, A Better Balance, the Center for Popular Democracy, RWDSU, Make the Road, the Community Service Society of New York and more.

We are proud to pass this package of legislation to help ensure that fast-food and retail workers have access to a fair work week.  Next, we will seek to pass Intro 1399, which will provide all NYC workers with the right to request schedule flexibility from their employers, to address caregiving, school, and other needs (without fear of retaliation, and with a fair process to consider the request). 

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