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S02414 Summary:

Add S171, Lab L
Relates to flexible working arrangements; provides that employees may submit a request for flexible working arrangements in good faith; requires the employer to notify the employee of the decision; prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for exercising rights under the section.
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S02414 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 23, 2015
        Introduced  by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor
        AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to flexible working  arrange-
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. The labor law is amended by adding a  new  section  171  to
     2  read as follows:
     3    §  171.  Flexible  working  arrangement.  1.  Definitions.  a. For the
     4  purposes of this section,  "flexible  working  arrangement"  shall  mean
     5  intermediate  or  long-term  changes  in  the employee's regular working
     6  arrangements, including but not limited to, changes  in  the  number  of
     7  days  or  hours  worked,  changes in the time the employee arrives at or
     8  departs from work, work from home,  or  job-sharing.  "Flexible  working
     9  arrangement"  shall  not include vacation, routine scheduling of shifts,
    10  or another form of employee leave.
    11    b. For the purposes of this section, "inconsistent with business oper-
    12  ations" shall mean a determination by the employer based on the  follow-
    13  ing  considerations:  (i)  the burden on an employer of undue additional
    14  costs; (ii) a legitimate or practical detrimental  effect  on  aggregate
    15  employee morale unrelated to discrimination or other unlawful employment
    16  practices;  (iii)  a  legitimate  or practical detrimental effect on the
    17  ability of an employer to  meet  consumer  demand;  (iv)  a  significant
    18  inability  to  reorganize work among existing staff; (v) a legitimate or
    19  practical inability to recruit  additional  staff;  (vi)  a  significant
    20  detrimental impact on business quality or business performance; (vii) an
    21  insufficiency  of work during the periods the employee proposes to work;
    22  (viii) planned structural changes to the business; and  (ix)  any  other
    23  reasons as specified by the commissioner.
    24    2.  An  employee may request a flexible working arrangement that meets
    25  the needs of the employer and employee. The employer  shall  consider  a
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 2414                             2
     1  request  using the procedures in this section when the employee asks the
     2  employer on an as-needed basis.
     3    3.  The  employer  shall  discuss  the  request for a flexible working
     4  arrangement with the employee. The employer  and  employee  may  propose
     5  alternative  arrangements  during  the  discussion.  The  employer shall
     6  consider the employee's request for a flexible working  arrangement  and
     7  whether  the request could be granted in a manner that is not inconsist-
     8  ent with its business operations  or  its  legal  or  contractual  obli-
     9  gations.
    10    4.  The  employer  shall notify the employee of the decision regarding
    11  the request in a timely manner. If the request was submitted in writing,
    12  the employer shall state any complete or partial denial of  the  request
    13  in writing, citing the reason as to denying the request.
    14    5. This section shall not diminish any employment rights or agreements
    15  pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. An employer may institute
    16  a  flexible  working  arrangement  policy  that is more generous than is
    17  provided by this section.
    18    6. An employer shall not retaliate against an employee exercising  his
    19  or her rights under this section.
    20    7.  Nothing  in this section shall affect any legal rights an employer
    21  or employee may have under applicable law to create, terminate, or modi-
    22  fy a flexible working arrangement.
    23    8. Nothing in this section shall require an  employer  to  accept  the
    24  flexible work arrangement of the employee.
    25    9.  a.  The commissioner or a representative authorized by the commis-
    26  sioner shall have the power to (i) investigate any complaint regarding a
    27  violation of this section filed by any employee; person or  organization
    28  acting on the employee's behalf; or the recognized and certified collec-
    29  tive  bargaining agent acting on the employee's behalf; and (ii) examine
    30  and inspect the records of any employer  in  conjunction  with  such  an
    31  investigation.
    32    b.  The commissioner may bring an action against an employer for fail-
    33  ure to adhere to the provisions of this  section,  including  injunctive
    34  relief to enjoin future conduct.
    35    c.  Any  employer  who  violates  the provisions of this section shall
    36  forfeit to the people of the state a sum of  five  hundred  dollars  for
    37  each  violation, to be recovered by the commissioner in any legal action
    38  taken pursuant to this subdivision.
    39    10. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations within one
    40  hundred twenty days of the effective date of this section for the imple-
    41  mentation of this section.
    42    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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