ALBANY - Employees who work "on call" may soon get extra pay if their shifts aren't scheduled with at least two weeks' notice in New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration on Friday advanced new regulations for employee scheduling that are meant to provide protections for on-call workers, who are asked to call in before working a shift to ensure they are needed.
The new rules, which could take effect as soon as January, require 14 days advance notice for scheduling workers.
If a worker is called in to work without such notice, they would get paid an extra two hours of minimum wage. If a pre-scheduled shift is canceled within 72 hours of its start, the worker would be entitled to four hours.
The regulations from the state Department of Labor were opened to a public-comment period that will run through December.
“The regulations advanced by the Department of Labor will increase fairness for workers and allow employers to retain flexibility," Cuomo said in a statement.
The Labor Department held four public hearings on the topic of employee scheduling this fall.
The hearings focused on scheduling tactics of minimum wage workers and the concerns that have been expressed around “on-call”, “just-in-time” and “call-in” scheduling.
The issue some had expressed with these types of scheduling methods is that employers were able to schedule or cancel an employee’s shift without a lot of notice for the employee, which can cause issues with employees who have to find childcare or who may have other obligations.
Sometimes with this type of scheduling employees report for a shift only to be sent home shortly after if they are not needed.
The rules have support from the state Retail Council, which represents retailers in New York.
But the Business Council, which represents a broader swath of businesses in the state, raised concerns, calling the new rules "another administrative and financial hurdle for New York employers.
“It will drive employers with part-time and/or lower-income employees to significantly modify their scheduling practices, at a time when they are also absorbing the costs of an increased minimum wage and dealing with the complexity of the new paid family leave act," Business Council President Heather Briccetti said in a statement.
At the Labor Department's hearings, the Business Council brought up the idea that not every job is suitable to these types of regulations.
Some jobs such as medical professionals or emergency utility repair workers cannot know when they will need to work, while smaller businesses with few employees would be at a disadvantage compared to larger companies, the business group warned.
To comment on the new regulations, email firstname.lastname@example.org.