FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 26, 2023
Settlement secures $3 million in worker restitution and penalties
NEW YORK, NY – Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga today announced a settlement with international bakery chain Paris Baguette over violations of the City’s Fair Workweek Law, which gives fast food and retail workers the right to a predictable schedule, among other rights. The settlement covers the period from November 2017 to October 2020, and requires Paris Baguette to pay $2.7 million in restitution to more than 1,500 workers, $270,000 in civil penalties and other costs, and comply with the Law.
“Ensuring fair treatment in the workplace is a constant effort,” said DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga. “A predictable work schedule not only promotes a healthy work-life balance for fast food workers, but also provides a sense of stability in workers’ personal lives, allowing them to plan time with friends, family, and loved ones. Any worker who believes they are experiencing unfair scheduling practices should contact us as soon as possible.”
DCWP’s investigation found that, at all NYC locations, Paris Baguette violated the Fair Workweek Law by failing to consistently:
“Workers and their labor move our city forward, so it is critical that we protect them from workplace violations,” said City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “The $3 million settlement secured by the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection for Paris Baguette employees is a win for workers everywhere. As a city, we must continue to enforce compliance of the Fair Workweek Law to ensure that our city's fast food and retail workers are fairly compensated, valued for their labor, and able to maintain a healthy work-life balance.”
“There are far too many corporations and members of management taking advantage of their employees and violating their rights under the Fair Workweek Law,” said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez, chair of the Committee on Consumer and Worker Protection. “The continued lack of accountability surrounding scheduling practices dismisses the employee’s rights and work-life balance to which they are entitled. Thanks to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection’s investigation, Paris Baguette employees will receive restitution for their employer’s ill practices. Corporations must work harder to be transparent with their employees and abide by the labor laws set by our city, state, and federal agencies.”
Under the Fair Workweek Law, fast food employers in New York City must give workers regular schedules, work schedules 14 days in advance that are consistent with their regular schedule, premium pay for schedule changes, the opportunity to decline to work additional time, and the opportunity to work newly available shifts before hiring new workers. Fast food employers also cannot schedule a “clopening” shift unless the worker consents in writing and receives a $100 premium to work the shift. Further, fast food employers cannot fire or reduce the hours of a worker by more than 15 percent without just cause. Fast food employers must post the notice, NYC Fast Food Worker’s Rights, where employees can easily see it and in the primary language of at least five percent of workers at a workplace. Employers and employees can visit nyc.gov/workers or call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside New York City) for more information about the law, including an overview of the law, information about filing a complaint, the required progressive discipline policy, different templates for signage that must be posted, and FAQs. Complaints can be filed anonymously. It is illegal for employers to retaliate against employees for filing complaints.
DCWP’s case was handled by Supervising Investigator Juana Abreu, Staff Counsel Alexandra Holmstrom-Smith, Senior Enforcement Counsel Caroline Friedman, Director of Data Science Elizabeth Major, and Litigation Director Emily Hoffman of DCWP’s Office of Labor Policy & Standards, under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Wagoner.
The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP)—formerly the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)—protects and enhances the daily economic lives of New Yorkers to create thriving communities. DCWP licenses more than 45,000 businesses in more than 40 industries and enforces key consumer protection, licensing, and workplace laws that apply to countless more. By supporting businesses through equitable enforcement and access to resources and, by helping to resolve complaints, DCWP protects the marketplace from predatory practices and strives to create a culture of compliance. Through its community outreach and the work of its offices of Financial Empowerment and Labor Policy & Standards, DCWP empowers consumers and working families by providing the tools and resources they need to be educated consumers and to achieve financial health and work-life balance. DCWP also conducts research and advocates for public policy that furthers its work to support New York City’s communities.For more information about DCWP and its work, call 311 or visit DCWP at nyc.gov/dcwp or on its social media sites, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
Michael Lanza / Stephany Vasquez Sanchez
Department of Consumer and Worker Protection