What work schedule rights do you have?

Work schedule rights for employees fall under NY State laws. As an employee, you may wonder what your rights are regarding work schedules.

Employees Rights under NYS Laws

Special laws apply to minors, individuals younger than 18 years of age. However, for working adults, the NYS Department of Labor sets no limitations on the following:

  • Total number of hours worked per day
  • The earliest time work can start
  • How late into the night work can last

Rest Periods in the Calendar Week

Certain occupations and industries require that employees receive 24 hours of rest during a calendar week.

Industries include:

  • Factories
  • Mercantile companies
  • Hotels (other than resort or seasonal hotels)
  • Restaurants (other than small, rural restaurants)

Type of occupations include:

  • Elevator operator
  • Watchman
  • Janitor
  • Superintendent
  • Farm worker

If you work over 40 hours in a calendar week, your employer must pay overtime, which is time and a half. For farm workers, overtime pay occurs when working over 60 hours a week. There are certain jobs that do not receive overtime pay.

Meal Periods and Breaks

Employers must provide workers with meal time breaks based on their work schedule. For example, if the work shift consists of more than six hours and begins before 11:00 a.m., employers must provide workers with an uninterrupted lunch period of at least 30 minutes. The meal period must occur between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. The employer does not have to pay for the meal period.

Also, employers do not have to provide other breaks. However, if they permit a 20 minute break, they should count it as work time and pay the employee for it.

Work Schedule Rights for Employees Regarding Sick Leaves

Based on New York Labor Law, employers must pay workers for sick leave time. The following provisions apply to employers with four or fewer employees:

  • Each employee must receive up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave in a calendar year
  • Employers netting over one million dollars in the previous tax year must provide each employee with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave in each calendar year

In any calendar year, employers with five to 99 employers must provide employees with up to 40 hours of paid sick leave.

In any calendar year, employers with 100 or more employees must provide employees with up to 56 hours of paid sick leave.

NYC Fair Workweek Law

In New York City, workers in the fast food industry have additional rights. They must receive regular schedules that remain the same each week. The employer must provide them with their schedule 14 days in advance. They must pay workers premiums if the schedule changes or they schedule a clopening. (A clopening is a schedule where the worker closes and has to open the next day.) Employees have the right to refuse extra work or clopenings. Employers cannot reduce the workers hours more than 15% without a legitimate business reason or just cause. As hours are available, laid off employees have the right to work reinstatement based on seniority.

Do you need assistance protecting your rights?

The Law Office of Peter A. Romero deals with all types of employment law and discrimination issues. We provide representation to clients throughout NYC, including in Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Harlem/Upper Manhattan. Call us at (631) 257-5588 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.