PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (WCAX) New rules taking effect Jan. 1 could mean big changes for local businesses throughout New York.
"I was a little shocked," said Robert Vidile, the manager of Maui North.
The new regulations say if an employee is called in on an unscheduled shift, they will be paid an additional two hours. If a shift is canceled within 72 hours before it was supposed to start, the employee will be compensated for a half-day's pay.
Local establishments like Maui North in downtown Plattsburgh say they understand what's behind the changes but they might be hard to implement.
"You have busy times of the year where it's really hard to plan. You don't know what the weather's going to do and certain aspects that effect your business," Vidile said.
Coryer Staffing is a recruiting firm. They say they've implemented rules like this since the start of their business a year ago.
"We actually have a clause in our contract with all our client companies where if they are asked to go to work for a full shift and they arrive and the work is canceled, then we will bill the client for the four hours of work and we will pay that individual for four hours of work," Coryer said.
Coryer says they have rarely had to use the clause.
Jacqueline Kelleher is a labor lawyer.
"Right now there aren't any kind of protections that prevent an employer from canceling a person's work shift at the last minute or requiring them to be paid for reduced hours. And because some employers abuse that, this regulation is going to be, I think, helpful," said Kelleher, a partner at Stafford Owens.
Kelleher says the regulations are meant protect employees
"This is really meant more for outliers who are somewhat abusive of employee schedules," she said.
Vidile says the changes should force managers to be on top of their game.
"Some employers aren't organized and that's why they're doing the scheduling last minute, so it could help some," Vidile said.
The comment period for this new regulation starts Nov. 22. It goes into full effect Jan. 1. Click here for more on the new regulations.