Why Retail Work Is Getting Worse
Nicole Dieker

I hope retail workers continue to win better scheduling rights. My work schedule is often erratic, but I can usually say no to working at any particular time as long as I maintain a degree of scheduling flexibility. I can’t imagine being asked to keep my schedule open to work almost any time of the day or night and how much that interferes with a person’s sleep, childcare arrangements, social life, ability to work a second job, etc.

It seems entirely fair to me that a retail employer would require an employee to be available for undesirable shifts (for instance, evening shifts), but it’s not fair to demand that part-time workers be available for every undesirable shift. Workers who are happy to work evenings should be able to say no to weekends, for example. Retailers could even put workers on more consistent schedules that involve putting an employee on only evenings or only weekends with pay incentives to those who are will take less desirable shifts. Or workers could be scheduled all day, but only on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Workers with this type of schedule could plan their childcare needs, work second jobs, and plan sleep and socialization accordingly.

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