New York has recently become the largest city in the US to pass legislation requiring fast-food restaurants to give employees at least two weeks notice in regards to scheduling, and pay them should the schedule change.

The law, which was vehemently opposed by the restaurant industry, also entitles workers to 11 hours between shifts, ensures that existing staff are offered additional work before new employees are hired and will pay retail workers to be ‘on call’. It will come into effect later this year. Workers argued that ‘surprise scheduling’ makes it difficult to arrange childcare, make appointments or plan family budgets. However the restaurant industry claimed that the law, combined with nationwide efforts to raise the minimum wage to USD $15/hr, would eventually cripple food outlets running on slim profits margins, sometimes as thin as 1.5 per cent.

In Oregon, a similar bill is pending final approval, and similar laws are currently under debate in five other states.