New York City Employers Must Permit Employees to Make Temporary Work Schedule Changes


As readers of this blog know, New York City has been very active in enacting laws that govern the employment relationship. New York City's latest law will require employers to grant employees the right to make a limited number of temporary schedule changes for personal reasons. This law becomes effective July 18, 2018.

Specifically, the law applies to any employee who has been employed for at least 120 days and works 80 hours or more in New York City in a calendar year. A covered employee is permitted to make two one-day temporary changes to the employee's work schedule for a personal event. Alternatively, an employer may, but is not required to, permit an employee to make a single two-day temporary schedule change.

A temporary change is defined as "a limited alteration in the hours or times that or locations where an employee is expected to work, including, but not limited to, using paid time off, working remotely, swapping or shifting work hours and using short-term unpaid leave."

The new law defines a qualifying personal event broadly. The term "personal event" includes:

  • the need to provide care for a minor child or care recipient;

  • the employee's need to attend subsistence benefit related legal proceedings or hearings for the employee, a family member, or care recipient; or

  • any matter that would be a permitted use of safe time or sick time under the New York City Earned Sick and Safe Time Act.

The law sets forth specific requirements for employees and employers concerning requesting and responding to a request for a permitted temporary schedule change. An employee may initially make a request for a schedule change verbally, but must put the request in writing within two days after the schedule change occurs. An employer must respond to an initial request immediately and must respond in writing within 14 days to an employee's written request.

 In anticipation of this new law going into effect, employers in New York City should (again) update their employment policies and procedures to ensure compliance with the law. If you have any questions about your business's obligations under the new law please contact me at (646) 503-5358 or