Work Flexibility Legislation Proposed in NYC

On March 3, 2017, the New York City Council's Committee on Civil Service and Labor (the "Committee") conducted a hearing on Introduction No. 1399, the proposed legislation requiring NYC employers to consider employee requests for flexible work arrangements. Aimed at improving working conditions related to workers’ schedules, this bill would give employees the “right to request” a modification or flexibility in their work schedules and arrangements without fear of retaliation. It would also create a “right to receive” certain changes to work arrangements in the event of a caregiver emergency or personal health emergency (if the employee does not have paid sick leave available for use) or in the event that an employee or an employee’s family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, a sexual offense or stalking. The bill’s broad definition of flexible work arrangements includes accommodations such as modified work schedules, changes in days of work, changes in work start and end times, permission to exchange work shifts with other employees, limitations on availability, part-time employment, job sharing arrangements, work from home or another location, reductions or changes in work duties, and reductions or changes in on-call shifts.

The proposed legislation would require an employer’s good faith response to assess the feasibility of an employee’s request (limited to one request per quarter) for flexible scheduling within 14 days of the request. If the Employer determines that the request is "inconsistent with business operations," it would need to provide a written explanation for the denial to the requesting employee. Importantly, the bill would also require New York City businesses to provide each employee, upon hire, a written schedule of the number of hours, times and locations that the employee is expected to work. If passed, the bill will take effect 180 days following its adoption.

Read more about the proposed legislation.