In a victory for millions of workers and families, a New York State Court recently upheld New York City’s Fair Workweek law—a law ensuring low wage workers are protected from abusive, unpredictable scheduling practices that make it difficult to work and care for a family, in part by requiring employers to give their workers sufficient notice of their schedules.
A Better Balance was proud to be part of the coalition that worked to enact these fair scheduling regulations in 2017. The law guarantees that fast food workers in New York City will receive their work schedules at least two weeks in advance, penalizes last-minute changes to schedules, and limits the use of “clopening” shifts–when a worker has to work a closing shift and the following opening shift, often with little rest in between. It also bans “on-call” scheduling for retail workers, which required workers to be available to work without guaranteeing them work hours.
When the law was challenged by the Restaurant Law Center and the National Restaurant Association as conflicting with state law, we worked with a group of state and local government legal scholars to file an amicus brief defending the law, noting the important role that cities play in protecting workers and developing innovative policy solutions to novel problems.
The New York State Court’s ruling upholding this law is a victory for millions of working families in New York City. It is also an important affirmation of New York City’s authority to enact laws for the benefit of its workforce and communities.