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NYC Employees Permitted to Make Temporary Scheduling Changes Beginning July 18

A new law requires New York City employers to allow employees to make two temporary scheduling changes per year for certain personal events. The new law is effective July 18, 2018.

Personal events which trigger the right to a temporary schedule change include:

  • To provide care to a minor child or to a person with a disability who lives in the employee’s household and who relies on the employee for medical care or the needs of daily living;
  • To attend a legal proceeding or hearing for subsistence benefits to which the employee, a family member or the employee’s care recipient is a party; or
  • To attend to any circumstance that would constitute a basis for permissible use of safe time or sick time under the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act.

Under the new law, temporary changes include “a limited alteration in the hours or times that or locations where an employee is expected to work, including, but not limited to, using paid time off, working remotely, swapping or shifting work hours and using short-term unpaid leave.”

The new law addresses: when and how an employee must notify his/her employer of the need for temporary scheduling changes; when and how an employer must respond to the employee’s request; the frequency and length of the scheduling changes; the circumstances under which an employer may deny a request; and the new law’s interaction with the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act.

The new law exempts certain categories of workers from its requirements. Specifically exempted are employees:

  • Who have been employed by the employer for fewer than 120 days;
  • Who work fewer than 80 hours in NYC in a calendar year;
  • Covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that waives the provisions of the new law and addresses temporary changes to work schedules; and
  • Employed by an employer whose primary business for which those employees work is the development, creation or distribution of theatrical motion pictures, televised motion pictures, television programs or live entertainment presentations, except for “an employee whose primary duty is the performance of office or non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers and except for an employee whose primary duty is performing routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work in connection with the care and maintenance of an existing building or location used by the employer.”