Notice to Members
Do you use temps or part time employees? If so, read on and take action!
On November 22, 2017, the New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) proposed new regulations that would make the following dramatic changes to how non-exempt employees are compensated:
- “On-call” employees will have to be paid a certain amount, even if they are never called into work.
- Employees called into work must be paid their regular wages for at least 4 hours, even if they work less than that amount; and
- Employees whose work shifts are cancelled — or could be cancelled — on short notice will have to be paid extra.
Specifically, the new regulations would modify the “Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations”, which encompasses most private sector employers including printers, mailers and more.
The proposed regulations provide that employees who are on-call and required to be available for work shall be paid at least four hours of call-in pay. Call-in pay is defined as the New York State hourly minimum wage, thus an employee who is on-call would have to be paid at least four hours of minimum wage – whether they perform any work or not.
Employees Called to Work
This proposed regulation would require the employer to pay the “called-in” worker at least four hours of pay at their regular hourly rate (or overtime, if applicable) regardless of whether they actually work four hours or 15 minutes.
Extra Pay for Employees Subject To Short Notice Shift Changes
Employees would also be entitled to call-in pay under the following circumstances:
- Unscheduled shift – Employee who reports to work for any hours that have not been scheduled at least 14 days in advance will get an additional two hours of pay.
- Cancelled shift – An employee whose shift is cancelled within 72 hours of the scheduled start of such shift shall be paid for at least four hours of call-in pay.
- Call for schedule – An employee who is required to be in contact with the employer within 72 hours of the start of the shift to confirm whether to report to work shall be paid at least four hours of call-in pay.
Again, for these situations, the call-in pay is New York State’s minimum wage. Please note – the proposed regulation is unclear but it appears that call-in pay would be in addition to (or in lieu of) whatever pay received from actual work.
The proposal indicates that the following situations would be exempt from these planned requirements:
- Employees who usually work less than four hours a day — call-in pay would be equal to number of hours usually worked.
- Employer cancels a shift at employee’s request.
- The shift cannot begin or continue due to an “Act of God” or other cause not within the employer’s control.
- Employees covered by a union contract if the contract addresses call-in pay.
- If an employee’s weekly wage “exceed 40 times the applicable basic hourly minimum wage”, the employee would be exempt from the scheduling situations noted above. This does not seem to mean that the regulation only applies to employees making minimum wage. For example, an employee making $30 an hour who only works 10 hours in a given week would be eligible to receive pay under the scheduling provision as they would make less than NYS minimum wage x 40 hours for that week.
In an industry such as ours, these proposed regulations are particular troubling.
Work requirements are often very volatile with customer demands, hot jobs and equipment problems often requiring that scheduling be done “on the fly”. Of course, the extensive use of temporary employees, flexible work groups and part-time staff make this particularly troubling for our industry.
The proposed regulations will be subject to a 45-day comment period, i.e., until January 5, 2018. If you wish to submit comments on how the proposed regulations might impact your organization, you can email them to email@example.com.
The proposed regulations will be subject to a 45-day comment period, i.e., until January 5, 2018. Printing Industries Alliance has prepared a sample letter that you can send and personalize if you wish, to the NYS Department of Labor. A letter has also been prepared that can be sent to your elected officials expressing your opinion. Click here to visit PIA’s Legislative Action Center to send both letters.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Tim Freeman at Printing Industries Alliance at tfreeman@PIAlliance.org or (716) 691-3211 or Michael Dodd at PIA Counsel Ferrara Fiorenza PC at (315) 437-7600. We will keep you informed on future developments.
Tim Freeman 12/15/17