NY DOL Sets Public Hearings on Just-in-Time Scheduling

"We can do better, bringing a higher degree of fairness to scheduling practices without penalizing businesses that are creating the important jobs that are growing our economy. Hearing from the public is an important step in striking that balance," New York Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon said.

Acting at the direction of New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon has scheduled four public hearings to obtain public comments on how best to address what is known as "just-in-time," "call-in," or "on-call" scheduling -- common practices, according to the state, that allow employers to schedule or cancel workers' shifts only hours before or even after they start. The practice affects workers in retail and other service sectors, can cost them hours and pay they had already budgeted, and may force them to scramble for child care or miss appointments, NYDOL says.

The state intends to enact scheduling protections that will apply statewide. "These hearings will help guide us in crafting sensible protections to provide New Yorkers with fair and predictable work schedules," the governor said. "This will give hard-working men and women a platform to have their voices heard and allow us to take another step toward a fairer, stronger New York for all."

Before crafting the regulations, the department will seek input from workers and industry professionals on how best to ensure workers can better predict their schedules and are compensated when subjected to just-in-time/on-call scheduling practices.

The public hearings will take place:

  • Thursday, Sept. 28 in Albany
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17 in New York City
  • Thursday, Oct. 26 in Binghamton
  • Tuesday, Nov. 14 in Buffalo

The department plans to issue a notice identifying the specific times and locations of the hearings.

"New York State's greatest resource is our hardworking, dedicated workers, and we must do everything we can to protect them. We can do better, bringing a higher degree of fairness to scheduling practices without penalizing businesses that are creating the important jobs that are growing our economy. Hearing from the public is an important step in striking that balance," Reardon said.

The department currently requires that employees be paid a minimum for showing up at a work site at the employer's request, even if the employee is immediately sent home upon reporting to work, and this exceeds federal Fair Labor Standards Act requirements, which guarantee a minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay after the 40th hour worked in a week. Workers covered by New York's regulation -- they include as many as 2 million workers in industries and occupations such as retail and food service -- are entitled to call-in pay, or "show-up pay," when they physically report to work and are then sent home before the start or end of the scheduled shift because they are not needed. Call-in pay is required for at least four hours or the number of hours in the regularly scheduled shift, whichever is less, at the basic minimum hourly wage.

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