Can My Employer Change My Work Schedule Without Notice?

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As a New York State employee, you have a right to a predictable work schedule. But unfortunately, sometimes employers have their own agenda and they fail to give you adequate notice or ask for your full consent. Follow along to find out whether your employer can change your work schedule without notice or consent and how a proficient New York wage & hour lawyer at Bell Law Group can help you rectify this situation.

Is my employer allowed to change my work schedule without notice?

According to the New York State Attorney General, employers must give timely notice of a work schedule change to retail workers. This law, New York City’s Fair Workweek Law, applies to all employers who primarily sell consumer goods and have at least 20 employers working for them. More specifically, for retail workers not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, employers are required to abide by the following conditions:

  • They must give you at least 72 hours of advanced notice for your complete work schedule.
  • They must give you at least 72 hours of advanced notice for “on-call” or “call-in” shifts.
  • They must give you at least 72 hours of advanced notice for canceling your shift.
  • They must give you at least 72 hours of advanced notice, and wait for your consent, before adding shifts to your work schedule.

However, there are certain exceptions to this law. That is, your employer may be allowed to change your work schedule without ample notice if any of the following circumstances apply:

  • There is an imminent threat to your safety or their property.
  • There is a public utility failure on their property.
  • There is a public transportation shutdown in the area.
  • There is a fire, flood, or other natural disaster in the area.
  • There is a state of emergency declared by the New York governor.

What happens if I am not given timely notice of my schedule change?

If your employer ultimately fails to give you timely notice of your schedule change, then you may be entitled to file a complaint. This complaint may be sent to the Department of Consumer Affairs Office of Labor Policy & Standards (OLPS), by going to or calling 212-NEW-YORK and asking for “Fair Workweek Law.” From here, the OLPS will investigate your employer and ultimately attempt to resolve your case.

Further, you may use your complaint to the OLPS as evidence for your legal action against your negligent employer. This is so you may retain back wages, premium pay, or other monetary relief that you rightfully deserve.

With this, you must not hesitate to bring your wage and hour claim forward. As soon as you can, pick up the phone and call a talented New York employee rights lawyer. Someone at Bell Law Group will be happy to answer.

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