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Scheduling law helps fast food workers in New York City

Imagine for a moment that you work for a fast food restaurant, and you are walking out the door to get to your place of work and clock in. A few minutes into your commute, you get a call from your boss: "You don't have to come in today, business is slow." Some people may celebrate not having to go to work; but others want to work and need the money. Surprising changes to their schedule like this are unwelcome.

This is exactly why the city of New York became the largest city to pass a law that requires fast food restaurants to schedule their workers two weeks in advance and pay extra for any changes to that schedule. Other benefits are built into the law -- such as 11-hour breaks between shifts for workers -- that will take effect at the end of the year.

This is an interesting approach to the fight for better wages and better conditions for workers. At the lower-end of the wage spectrum, most workers don't enjoy a more robust set of rights. This law aims to change that, building in improved rules that help the average worker while holding companies responsible when they don't hold up their end of the scheduling bargain.

We will have to wait and see if this becomes a trend, with more cities and/or states taking up laws similar to this. In the meantime, it is nice to see the fight for better rights for workers is still alive and well.

Source: Reuters, "Not so fast: U.S. restaurant workers seek ban on surprise scheduling," Peter Szekely, July 17, 2017

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