Recently, the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”) issued regulations regarding the New York City Temporary Schedule Change Law (the “NYC Schedule Change Law”), which went into effect on July 18, 2018.  Under this new law, employers are required to provide eligible employees with up to two (2) temporary schedule changes per calendar year for certain “personal events.”

Eligible Employees and Types of Permissible Schedule Changes

New York City employers are now required to allow employees who work at least 80 hours in a calendar year and have been employed for at least 120 days, the ability to make two (2) temporary schedule changes per year.  Specifically, employers must provide employees with two (2) changes to their schedules of up to one business day each or one two-day schedule change during the calendar year.  These schedule changes include, but are not limited to, swapping shifts with another employee, working remotely, using unpaid and/or paid time off, change in work location, or altering scheduled work hours.  Employers may deny a request for a temporary schedule change only if the employee has already exhausted his/her two (2) requests provided by the law or if an exemption applies.

Qualifying “Personal Events”

Employees may request temporary schedule changes for the following reasons:

  • To provide care to a minor child (up to eighteen (18) years old) or to a disabled person living in the employee’s home who is dependent upon the employee for care;
  • To attend a legal proceeding or hearing for subsistence benefits; or
  • For any circumstance that constitutes a basis to take earned sick time under the New York City Earned Sick and Safe Time Act (“NYC Sick and Safe Time Act”).

Notably, employees are not required to first use their earned paid time off under the NYC Sick and Safe Time Act before requesting schedule changes.  In addition, time provided under the NYC Sick and Safe Time Act does not satisfy the employer requirements under the NYC Schedule Change Law.

Employer Notice Requirements

Pursuant to the recent regulations, employers must immediately post the DCA’s notice, which is available here.  The notice should be posted in an easily noticeable area and in both English and the primary language of at least five percent (5%) of the employees at a workplace.  Further, employers must maintain records of their compliance with this law for three (3) years.

Employers are prohibited from retaliating against any employee who exercises his/her rights under the NYC Schedule Change Law.

Employers should consult with an attorney regarding the specific request procedure for temporary schedule changes, the exemptions available under the NYC Schedule Change Law, and how the law interacts with the NYC Sick and Safe Time Act.