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No More "Clopening" For Food Workers

In March of this year the New York City Council's Committee on Civil Service and Labor reviewed and considered six bills that, if passed, will significantly impact fast food workers. One of the bills involves "clopening." 

What is "clopening"?

Clopening is a term used to describe when an employee works until close at the fast food location and then returns to work the opening shift the next day.

How the proposed bill works

Known as Int. No 1388-2016, this portion of the local law bill seeks to limit "clopening." Proponents of the bill recognized that employees with this schedule were not given adequate time for travel, rest and family. The bill seeks to allow an employee an "off the clock" window of at least eleven hours between shifts.

Employers to pay $100  for each "clopen"

The bill calls for an employer to pay any employee who "clopens" $100 for "each instance" that the employee closes the establishment and then returns the next day to open it (also known as back-to-back shifts). 

Whom the bill targets

The bill targets workers whose job duties involve:

  • Customer service
  • Cooking
  • Delivery
  • Cleaning

A fast food establishment is defined as an establishment that is "part of a chain with 30 or more locations nationally, offering limited service, with a primary purpose of service food or drinks, and where customers order and pay before eating."

When the bill takes effect

The bill has not yet passed. If and when it does pass then the "clopening" law will take effect 180 days after the bill becomes law. 

Current minimum wages

The protection and advancement of fast food and retail workers seems to be on the radar of local councils. On December 31, 2016 New York city raised the minimum wage for fast food workers to $12.00 an hour. The wages are set to increase until they reach $15.00 an hour by the end of 2018. 

If you are being required to "clopen" at a fast food chain, or are being paid less than the minimum wage, know your rights. If your rights are being violated speak with an employment law attorney. 

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