Gov. Cuomo announces new state shift pay rules

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday new protections for hourly workers across the state: They'll have to be paid extra if their employers put them on call.

Along with the announcement, the state Department of Labor released a list of employment guidelines designed to protect and compensate workers who are asked to adjust their schedules on the fly.

"This is really hard-targeted toward industries that are based on shift work," says Caitlin McNaughton, an employment attorney. "Essentially what this does is allow those people in those industries to at least have two weeks' notice and plan their lives."

The new regulations will outline a system in which employers would have to pay workers additional "call-in pay" if they failed to provide their employees with adequate notice. For scheduled work days, that means two weeks. It also mandates additional pay for employees whose shifts are cancelled less than 72 hours before they were scheduled to begin.

The plan has its supporters, like Syosset's Vin Ritraj, who says it just makes sense. But critics say the added expense might lead some employers to reduce staff.

The regulations take effect in early January, following a 45-day comment period.

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