A package of legislation that could significantly reshape the terms of employment for workers in New York's retail and fast food industries will be introduced in the City Council later this morning, the latest sign of the growing political clout of the city's tens of thousands of low-wage hourly workers.

The legislation, some of which has been backed by Mayor de Blasio, would restrict the ability of employers in these industries to make last-minute shift changes and limit workers' hours, common practices that workers' rights advocates have said undermine workers' financial and family stability.

"Knowing your hours ahead of time is too often taken for granted, though it is a downright necessity for arranging childcare, class schedules and budgeting for the week," Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. "This is an important next step in protecting the rights of 65,000 New Yorkers and once again demonstrates that we are committed to being a city that is fair and equitable for all."

One bill in the package, the Fair Work Week Bill, would end on-call scheduling policies, a retail industry practice in which employers make last-minute scheduling changes based on computer simulations of consumer demand. In the fast food industry, employers would be required to provide two weeks notice of scheduling changes. Employers who make scheduling changes in a shorter window of time would be required to pay a penalty to affected employees.

"My schedule is constantly changing and I rarely get the hours I want," said Alvin Major, 51, who has worked as a cook at a KFC in Brooklyn for the past four years, in a statement. "I'm a father of four with two kids in college and I struggle every month to make enough to support my family."

Employers in the fast food industry would also be barred from scheduling "clopenings"—in which a worker works a nighttime closing shift and then an opening shift the following morning.

Under the Fast Food Worker Empowerment Bill, employers would be required to, upon request of an employee, make automatic deductions from that employee's paycheck, which would then be forwarded to a non-profit organization that would advocate for better working conditions in the industry. In effect, these organizations, which would be regulated by the Department of Consumer Affairs, would serve as informal unions. (Hector Figueroa, president of the Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, a major backer of the legislation, likened these organizations to the New York City Taxi Workers Alliance, a membership-based organization that advocates for cab drivers.)

According to Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, who sponsored the bill, it would be the first legislation of its kind in the United States. "It will allow them to educate their coworkers about their rights on the job and advocate in their communities for policies they need, like access to affordable housing and immigration reform," she said in a statement. "This bill will allow fast food workers to create an organization, gather their financial resources and focus on the issues that are important to them."

Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policy Institute, a conservative think tank that has advocated against minimum wage increases and other labor protections for low-wage workers, said the legislation would force employers to make cutbacks. "The idea that this is an industry that is in any way prepared to take the hit from another piece of legislation like this is just ludicrous," he said, citing an EPI study on similar legislation in San Francisco.

But Figueroa said that current scheduling practices in the fast food and retail industries are not an essential part of the business model. He pointed to a Wall Street Journal report on chains that use full-time workers. "Fast food employers can keep their stores profitable with full-time workers and regular schedules," he said.

City Council Members and labor activists are rallying outside City Hall Tuesday morning in support of the legislation.