New York introduces new regulations regarding "on-call" shifts

ALBANY, N.Y. - If you have ever worked an on-call shift you know the hassle of having to try and plan your day or even your week around that slight possibility you could have to work. New regulations, however, were released Friday to deal with that issue.

"If you don't know when you're going to work, you can not plan for the rest of your life," Stuart Appelbaum, a union representative said.

This is a problem for many on-call workers that Appelbaum's union represents. Setting up child-care last minute or working a second job, becomes extremely difficult. 

"What's important for retail workers is to have a predictable schedule with sufficient hours," Appelbaum said.

The Department of Labor released new statewide regulations that will require employers to provide a work schedule two weeks in advance and provide two hours of extra pay for last minute assignments. It also requires that employees be paid for at least four hours of work even if their shift is cancelled at the last minute or if they are on-call. 

"Hopefully they are going to get more hours out of this than they otherwise would," Appelbaum said. "I also think for employers they should look at this as a win because this is wonderful for employee morale and reduces turnover."

However, the state's Business Council is expressing their concern and announced they will be submitting further comments during the 45-day public review period. The CEO of the council released a statement:

"This represents another administrative and financial hurdle for New York employers that is not imposed in most other states."

She went on to say that companies are already trying to absorb the added costs of a higher minimum wage and the new paid family leave act. 


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