Whether you can require your company’s employees to work seven days in a calendar week in New York State depends upon your company’s industry and your employees’ occupations. In general, an employer in New York may require its white-collar employees to work seven days in a week.
By contrast, in some blue-collar industries and occupations in New York State, a worker is entitled to enjoy 24 consecutive hours of rest in each calendar week. Without limitation, among the employees whom a non-governmental employer in New York must afford one day of rest in seven are:
- Factory workers;
- Employees of mercantile establishments;
- Hotel workers;
- Restaurant employees;
- Operators of freight or passenger elevators;
- Projectionists, engineers, and firemen employed in movie theatres;
- Performers, engineers, and firemen employed in dramatic or musical theatres;
- Watchmen, engineers, and firemen employed in apartment or office buildings; and
- Janitors, superintendents, supervisors, and managers employed in apartment buildings, office buildings, or warehouses.
N.Y. Labor Law § 161(1). Every employer must keep a time book showing the names and addresses of his employees and the hours worked by each of them in each day. N.Y. Labor Law § 161(4).
If the New York State Commissioner of Labor determines that an employer has failed to give one day of rest in seven to a worker or workers in one of the above-mentioned occupations, the Commissioner must issue to the employer an order directing payment to the Commissioner of a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for a first violation, up to $2,000 for a second violation, or up to $3,000 for a third or subsequent violation. N.Y. Labor Law § 218(1).
Further, an employer in New York must allow two days of rest in each calendar month to signalmen, towermen or gatemen who work eight hours or more per day, unless such signalmen, towermen or gatemen are engaged in interstate commerce . N.Y. Labor Law § 166(4), 166(5).
If your company needs assistance or guidance on a labor or employment law issue and your company is located in the New York City area, call Attorney David S. Rich at (212) 209-3972.