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.
Yanelia Ramirez, a nail salon worker. Pedro Gamboa, an airport worker. Jacqui Orie, a nanny. Ricarda, a laundry worker. Each of them share something in common: they work long, hard hours with no right to paid time off to attend important life events, spend time with their families, or simply relax. On September 9th, we were proud to join these workers in calling for New York City to pass a bill giving New Yorkers the right to earn 10 days of paid personal time at a rally on the steps of City Hall
While Jetaun was given a room to pump, the room was shared with another company, and a sign placed on the door was insufficient to ensure her privacy (which is often medically necessary for milk expression). At one point, a male employee entered without knocking while she was pumping. Jetaun was very upset by this violation of her privacy, and she brought the issue to a manager, to no avail.
We were proud to lead the hard-won fight to pass these laws, and ensure New York sets a national standard for fair and equal pay. We’re also proud of the U.S. women’s soccer players for standing up for the equal pay they deserve, and for shining a spotlight on the broad issue of pay disparity across the U.S., which impacts groups including low wage workers, single mothers, and women of color particularly harshly.
We need this bill not only to catch up with other advanced economies, but also because it will make our workforce stronger, healthier, and more productive. This groundbreaking proposal would be a huge step forward for the rights and well-being of working families across the City and set in motion a new national standard.
We were proud to work with the City to draft and pass paid sick days, and to expand the law to cover safe leave and expand family definitions, and we applaud the Mayor, Public Advocate, and City Council for recognizing that New Yorkers also deserve paid personal time.
This is an exciting moment for our movement to honor care and support basic rights for all workers – in sickness and in health! It is a recognition that workers need time for themselves and their families and that government has a role to play in making sure that happens.
These rights enable workers to care for themselves and their families. Unless workers have advance knowledge of when they will be called to work, they cannot make child care plans or control their time. The law also helps deal with the problem of under scheduling by requiring access to hours for current employees when an employer adds time to the schedule.
If you work in New York City and your employer is denying you time off to recover from the flu or other illness, to seek medical treatment, or to care for a sick family member, call our Helpline at (212) 430-5982. We are here to help.