Navigating NYC’s Temporary Schedule Change Law

Effective July 18, 2018, New York City employers are required to accommodate employee requests for temporary schedule changes for employee ‘personal events.’ 

What’s the Definition of a ‘Personal Event’ Under the New Law?

  • The need for an employee to provide care to a minor child or individual with a disability under the employee’s care who resides with the employee or is the employee’s family member
  • The need to attend a legal proceeding or hearing for subsistence benefits to which the employee, an employee’s family member, or an individual under the employee’s care is party to
  • Any circumstance that would qualify for use of safe/sick leave under the New York City Earned Sage and Sick Time Act (ESSTA) 

When Can an Employee Request a Temporary Schedule Change? 

  • Employees may request a temporary schedule change to address qualifying personal events up to two times per year for the duration of no more than one business day, OR… 
  • Once per year for the duration of no more than two business days

What are the Steps to Requesting and Responding to Temporary Schedule Changes? 

  • The Employee must notify their employer or direct supervisor as soon as they become aware of the situation and propose a specific schedule adjustment, stating the date for which the change was requested in writing and that the request was made for a qualifying personal event no later than within two days of returning to work.
  • The Employer must respond immediately to the employees’ initial request, then respond no later than 14 days later in writing, including whether they agree to the temporary work schedule OR if they’ll provide the temporary change as leave without pay, as well as how many requests and business days the employee has left in the calendar year. (If the request is denied, the employer must provide an explanation.)

What Should NYC Hospitality Employers Do to Prepare? 

  • Examine attendance policies and staffing practices to ensure they comply with the Fair Work Week Act, the NYC Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (ESSTA)
  • Review paid time off policies to ensure they don’t contradict any provision within the temporary scheduling law
  • Review manager and/or HR training practices to ensure all employees involved in scheduling understand the law and which requests for scheduling changes qualify under the new law 
  • Review scheduling and time tracking tools to ensure they are able to monitor the number of requests an employee makes and when requests are made

How Harri Can Help

At Harri, we provide extensive scheduling-related support for hospitality employers who are seeking ways to remain compliant under this new legislation.

Email and other manual channels of communication are unreliable, and not suited to serve as your primary means for communication. Here’s how we can help:

  • With the Harri Mobile Native app (available in both iOS and Android), employees can receive informative push notifications and in-app alerts that alert them to schedule changes
  • In the event an employee has a qualifying request, they can easily submit that request via our seamless messaging tools directly to management in real time
  • Automate the alerting process to employees by activating timecard change messaging. For more information on implementing this feature, please reach out to
  • Create powerful schedules that enable you to block time-off requests in order to ensure your labor demands are met each and everyday.

To learn more, reach out to   

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