NYC Temporary Work Schedule Change Law

The NYC Temporary Work Schedule Change Law protects employees who seek temporary changes to their work schedules for a personal event. Employees are eligible for up to two temporary schedule changes each calendar year. Temporary changes include 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 following are considered qualifying personal events:

  • to provide care to a minor child or to a person living in the caregiver’s household with a disability who relies on the caregiver for medical care or the needs of daily living;    
  • to “attend a legal proceeding or hearing for subsistence benefits to which the employee, a family member or the employee’s care recipient is a party”; or
  • to attend to “any circumstance that would constitute a basis for permissible use of safe time or sick time” under the New York City Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA).

An employee must notify their employer or direct supervisor when they become aware of the need for a temporary change, either verbally or in writing. They must state the temporary change is to accommodate a qualifying personal event. No later than two days after returning to work, the employee must indicate in writing the date for which the temporary change was requested and note the change was due to the employee’s qualifying personal event.

Within 14 days of receiving the request in writing, the employer must provide a written response that includes the following information:

  • “Whether the employer will agree to the temporary change to the work schedule in the manner requested by the employee, or will provide the temporary change to the work schedule as leave without pay, which does not constitute a denial”
  • An explanation for the denial, if the employer denies the request for a temporary change to the work schedule
  • How many requests and how many temporary change business days the employee has left in the calendar year, after taking into account the employer’s decision contained in the written response

An employer may deny a request for a temporary change relating to a personal event only if the employee has already exhausted the two allotted requests in the calendar year or if an exemption applies. If an employer permits an employee to use two business days for one request, granting a second request is not required.

Other Considerations

Employees who have been employed for fewer than 120 days or do not work at least 80 hours in a calendar year in New York City are exempt from this law.

Under the NYC Temporary Work Schedule Change Law, employees are not required to use NYC ESSTA leave before requesting schedule changes. Unpaid leave granted for a personal event does not count towards any ESSTA-mandated leave. Likewise, leave granted under the ESSTA does not satisfy the requirements under this law.

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