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An end to last minute scheduling changes for hourly workers?

The job stability of a fast food worker is dependent on the revenues their employer generates. Financial peaks and valleys are part of doing business for everyone involved.
While restaurants have predictable "up" and "down" times, business traffic not living up to expectations impact hourly employees' bottom lines.

Non-salaried staff in particular can feel the sting of a slow day. After donning a uniform and leaving for work for a scheduled shift, a last-minute call from a supervisor could provide an unexpected, if not unwanted day off.

The financial sting is felt most by those employees of well-known restaurant franchises who are also working second and third jobs. Time is money. Budgets have little, if any wiggle room. A schedule with one employer can dictate availability for the other. One cancelled workday can have a serious financial impact.

With a new law taking effect later this year, employees in New York can rest easy over last minute demands to stay home. They now work in the largest U.S. city to mandate fast-food restaurants provide two weeks advance notice for schedule changes or pay them extra.

In spite of fierce opposition from the restaurant industry, staff must also receive 11-hour breaks between shifts, offer part-time staff additional hours before hiring new employees, and compensate workers to be "on call."

Scheduling has become the latest salvo in a growingly nationwide battle on behalf of low-income workers that started with proposed minimum wage increases, better known as the "Fight for 15." A similar bill passed by Oregon lawmakers is awaiting signature from the governor. Legislation in five other states is pending.

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