Seyfarth Synopsis: The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs has released a model Notice of Employee Right and Frequently Asked Questions regarding its new Temporary Schedule Change Law that went into effect last week. Employers should take steps immediately to post the Notice in a conspicuous place in their New York City workplaces.

On July 18, 2018, New York City's Temporary Schedule Change Law ("TSCL") went into effect. As a reminder, the TSCL requires New York City employers to grant eligible employees two temporary schedule changes per year, of up to one business day each, for certain personal events. The TSCL applies to most employers with New York City employees.

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs ("DCA") recently published a model Notice of Employee Right (the "Notice"), titled "You Have a Right to Temporary Changes to Your Work Schedule." Employers must conspicuously post the Notice at their New York City workplaces. The Notice must be posted in English and any language that is the primary language of at least five percent of employees at that workplace, assuming the DCA has made the Notice available in that language. At the time of this publication, only the English version of the Notice has been released.

In addition to the Notice, the DCA also recently published FAQs regarding the TSCL. Among other points, the FAQs note that employers must post the Notice "where employees can easily see it at each NYC workplace" and that the Notice "should be printed on and scaled to fill an 11 x 17 paper."

By way of background, qualifying personal events that entitle employees to leave under the TSCL include:

  • providing care for a minor child or other individual under the employee's care;
  • attending legal proceedings for subsistence benefits to which the employee, the employee's family member, or the employee's care recipient is a party; and
  • any circumstance that would qualify for use of safe or sick time under the recently-amended Earned Safe and Sick Time Act ("ESSTA"). (For more information on the recent changes to ESSTA, see our prior alert.)

The TSCL provides nonexclusive examples of temporary schedule changes, which include:

  • using paid time off;
  • working remotely;
  • changing work hours;
  • swapping shifts; or
  • using short-term unpaid leave.

For more information on the TSCL, including the process by which employees request a schedule change and employers respond, employee eligibility standards, and the interplay between the TSCL and ESSTA, see our prior alerts here and here.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.