On January 4, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business and the Senate Administrative Regulations Review Commission are holding a public hearing in Albany on the state Department of Labor’s proposed rulemaking relating to employee scheduling.

Unshackle Upstate joined with the Business Council of New York State, the state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and employers across the state to make sure that lawmakers understand how harmful these proposed regulations would be to small businesses and to the Upstate economy.

We have heard from a variety of Upstate businesses that this new rule would increase their labor costs, while also increasing their compliance costs and potentially subjecting them to enforcement actions by the state. The one-size-fits-all nature of the Department of Labor’s proposed regulations is a big part of the problem. Oregon – the only state that has rules of this nature in place – wisely exempted businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

We also pointed out that the state would better off focusing on the need to enforce the state’s existing rules, rather than enacting new ones. Most of the issues relating to “on call” scheduling have occurred in the New York City region. A better option is for the state to investigate and take action where such action is warranted – not by adopting new regulations which effectively treat every business as abusing its workers.