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New York Wants to Hold Your Permits Hostage: How pending New York legislation threatens Fast Food Employers in New York City

On September 19, 2022, the New York City Council committee held a hearing on two bills that would amend the Fair Workweek and Just Cause Laws (FWW) (the law that addresses providing advanced notice of scheduling in certain industries, among other things)and Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESTA). The two bills, Int. No. 613 and Int. No. 640, increase penalties and add training requirements to the FWW and ESTA. 

Int. No. 613

Int. No. 613 would increase penalties for Fair Workweek and Just Cause Law (FWW) violations. The proposed bill doubles civil penalties, gives employees severance pay, and allows the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHM) to revoke permits. Specifically, the bill adds the following requirements:

  • The bill increases civil penalties from:
  • $750 to $1,500 for a second violation
    • $1,000 to $2,000 for additional violations; and
    • $15,000 to $30,000 for a pattern or practice of violations.
  • The bill gives the DCWP Commissioner authority to direct DOHM to revoke, deny, or refuse to renew a food service establishment permit in the following instances:
    • Employer failed to pay an ordered fine or penalty for violating FWW;
    • Employer engaged in a practice or pattern of violations; or
    • Employer has paid over $500,000 in FWW or ESTA violations over a three-year period.
  • When an employer is not operating due to violations of FWW or ESTA, the bill mandates employers to provide 14-days of severance pay. It is unclear whether the 14 days is 14 fully paid days or the pay that would have actually been earned during 14-days of operation.

Int. No. 640

Int. No. 640 would require employers provide a two-hour training on fast food worker rights provided under the FWW. Additionally, the proposed bill will require employers to make their staff available within 45 days for training by DCWP. The bill requires employers to compensate their employees during any training periods held by DCWP.

Concluding Thoughts

The impending severe penalties make strict adherence to FWW all the more important. New York City Fast Food Employers should ensure their management is trained on the requirements of FWW. Additionally, employers should review and implement procedures that adhere to the FWW.

Brody and Associates regularly advises management on complying with the latest local, state and federal employment laws.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.454.0560