States considering law to force restaurants to give employees' schedule in advance

Posted at 8:10 PM, Jul 17, 2017

While common drawbacks to working in the service industry are long hours, low hourly wages and few benefits, restaurant workers are rallying against last-minute changes to the work schedule, which can cause some employees hardship.

Later this year, New York City will have a law that will go into effect requiring restaurant employers to give their employees a schedule two weeks in advance or "pay a premium." NYC also has legislation going into effect that bars retailers from putting employees on call. 

New York City cited statistics that one-in-four Americans have schedules that are set less than one week in advance. 

"Predictable schedules and predictable paychecks should be a right, not a privilege," NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "With this legislation, we are continuing to build a fairer and more equitable city for all New Yorkers.” 

According to Reuters, the New York City law may spread to other states. 

Six states are considering a law requiring schedules to be posted in advance by some companies in the service sector. Such legislation is vigorously opposed by the service industry. 

"There's no way you can stay in business," Louis Meyer, whose company employs 1,000 workers at about two dozen franchised Wendy's and TGI Friday's in New York, told Reuters. "It's like having a disease. It's going to get you sooner or later."

But cutting hours at the last minute makes it tougher for some service industry employees to make ends meet. One employee Reuters cited in its report is Flavia Cabral, who told Reuters that she has had shifts cut when she arrives for work.

"Every week you're guessing how much money you're going to get and how many days you're going to work," Cabral told Reuters.