Employers could easily take advantage of employees unaware of the laws protecting their rights if not careful. It is a sad reality, but only with knowledge and taking legal action when necessary can employees be protected from work-related exploitation. Recent laws have passed to make it harder for fast food service establishments to offer unfair scheduling to its employees.
What you need to know
New York has some of the strictest laws aimed at protecting employees compared with the rest of the country. If you feel your employer is not upholding the law, consider obtaining evidence and speaking with a lawyer about the matter. Knowing the following laws can prevent unlawful acts made from your fast-food job.
Here is what you need to know:
- Unlawful shift requirements—Employers of fast food service workers cannot schedule an employee with two shifts with less than 11 hours gap between them. The employee wishing to take a double shift without an 11-hour space can lawfully do this by providing written consent.
- Work opportunities given to current employees first— Fast food employers are required to offer current staff first choice at available work hours that arise. This includes gaining more regular hours or on-call shifts before hiring new employees to work the same available shifts.
- Transparency in expected hours worked— The law obligates employers to provide new employees with notice of how many hours they can expect to work that week. Schedules must be released a minimum of 14 days in advance.
The rights you have as an employee of a fast-food establishment are just as important as any other. Overworked employees are at risk when they are unaware of how the law put in place to protect them. It is your right to know what can and cannot be done by an employer who dictates the hours you work and the schedule you have. Remember, the only the law stands to protect you and fight for your rights to be upheld when they are not.