Today, three out of five workers in the United States are paid by the hour — that’s seventy five million mothers, fathers, students, neighbors, and friends. Job growth is fueled by the dramatic expansion of low-wage, no-benefit jobs in industries like retail, restaurants, and healthcare, which rely on large part-time workforces and now employ over one-quarter of all workers. These fast growing low-wage industries are adopting just-in-time scheduling practices, which in turn fuel massive under-employment and economic insecurity for workers.
Hourly workers are increasingly at risk of unpredictable, last-minute, fluctuating work schedules over which they have no control. Thirty eight percent of all early-career adults — and almost half of those working part-time — get their schedules one week or less in advance. Seventy-four percent of of this workforce experience fluctuating weekly work hours. Half have no input into their schedules. Can you imagine not knowing when you have to show up for work, or how many hours you’ll be working next week?
The results for workers can be devastating. Workers cannot predict their incomes from one week to the next, which places financial stress on families. Others are given unhealthy work schedules that require them to work late and early mornings with too little rest between shifts. When workers don’t get their schedule more than a few days in advance or they change at the last minute, it makes it difficult to keep plans, like getting kids to school, going to class, or attending doctors’ appointments.
Workshift is joining forces with the Center for Popular Democracy’s Fair Workweek Initiative to press major retailers, restaurant chains, and other companies to embrace fair scheduling practices that allow hourly employees the flexibility, stability, and opportunity they need to thrive.
The goal of the campaign is to ensure that working people have reliable hours they can count on to support their families. This includes adopting formal policies that require companies to provide employees their work schedules at least two weeks in advance, eliminate on-call scheduling, give workers greater input into their schedules, and provide workers who want them with sufficient shifts to support their families.