New York City Restrictive Scheduling Bill Would Reduce Job Flexibility and Opportunities
Separate "Worker Empowerment" Bill Creates Deceptive Plan for Collecting Union Dues from Fast Food Employees
Publication Date: December 2016
Washington D.C. – Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) criticized the New York City Council’s inflexible work scheduling bill and “Worker Empowerment” labor union organizing bill, both of which are being introduced today.
Among other provisions, the curiously-named Fair Work Week bill would require fast food employers to post shift schedules at least two weeks in advance and pay a penalty for any subsequent changes. The bill would also require employers to offer available hours to existing employees before hiring new ones.
San Francisco was the first city to pass such scheduling legislation in 2014. Evidence shows it has caused employers to reduce employee flexibility:
A loss of flexibility matters. Census Bureau data indicates New York City restaurant employees choose their jobs specifically because of shift flexibility needed for personal school or parenting demands:
The companion “Worker Empowerment” bill ostensibly requires fast food employers to honor employees’ request to make a paycheck deduction of contributions to a “covered nonprofit organization.” But according to the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, these “nonprofit organizations” would perform many of the same tasks as traditional unions. This appears to be a backdoor for the SEIU, which has so far failed to gain new dues-paying members at fast food workplaces. The law would require employers to collect and remit the “contributions” that form a union’s revenue stream.
“These bills are designed to reduce part-time employment and boost union organizing,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at EPI. “The city’s elected officials should remember that their job title is ‘Council Member,’ not ‘Shop Steward.'”