In the next step towards making life bearable for the city's fleet of fast food workers, Mayor de Blasio will push legislation that should help curb the wildly unpredictable schedules of the 65,000 hourly workers in NYC. Yesterday in front of a Brooklyn McDonald's, the mayor announced the Fair Workweek legislation, which would require employers to release employee schedules a minimum of two weeks in advance.

"Too many New Yorkers are being put in untenable situations—taking care of kids and aging parents, and then being forced to deal with an arbitrary schedule at a job where they still don’t always make ends meet," the mayor said.

Unstable work schedules are one of the many ways that employers and management make life difficult for workers in already low-paying fast food jobs. Workers are routinely asked to work last-minute shifts or have shifts removed from their schedules without notice. This practice, along with tampering with time sheets, are just a few examples of rampant wage theft and instability in the industry.

The legislation, which de Blasio intends to draft with the City Council, is expected to include the following changes, according a statement from the administration:

  • Require fast food employers to schedule a majority of expected shifts and publicly post a workplace schedule two weeks in advance.
  • Protect workers by requiring employers to provide additional compensation when workers are required to accommodate last-minute changes to their schedules for reasons within employers’ ability to plan or control.
  • Address problems created by the practice of “clopenings,” or shifts that require employees to consecutively work closing and opening shifts with fewer than ten hours between them.

"Think about the fact that these companies—we're talking about some of the biggest corporations in America—McDonald's, KFC, so many others—some of the most profitable corporations in America, are led by some of the best compensated CEOs in America," the mayor asked of the crowd. "Now, I remind you, those corporations couldn't survive without their workers. Those wealthy CEOs would be nowhere but for the people who do the work every day."

A reminder: McDonald's CEO Donald Thompson gets paid $13.7 million per year to hawk "edible" dish sponges while his employees sign up for food stamps.