Media Matters: A 'Better Way' To Fight Poverty Based On Research, Instead of Right-Wing Myths

Originally published by Media Matters, Alex Morash & Craig Harrington
June 17, 2016

Photo by Union Advocate

FAIR SCHEDULING HELPS LOW-WAGE WORKERS

CAP: Low-Wage Workers Need Fair Scheduling Notice. CAP called on Congress to pass the Schedules That Work Act, legislation that would give workers advance notice of shift scheduling changes and the right to be paid for being on call. According to CAP’s analysis, unpredictable and short-notice scheduling common in low-wage industries impedes workers’ abilities to arrange child care and even transportation to the workplace:

Compounding the tension between work and family, unpredictable and fluctuating schedules—which are becoming increasingly common for low-wage workers— mean that workers often do not know their schedules until the last minute or can be sent home without pay even though they have already shown up for a shift. This can undercut workers’ ability to arrange transportation or child care, derail education and training, and make it impossible for workers to predict their monthly pay—much less take on a second job to supplement their family income. To address unfair scheduling practices, CAP urges passage of the Schedules That Work Act, which would give employees the right to make scheduling requests, provide for advance notice of schedules, and require that workers receive some compensation when they are sent home without the opportunity to complete a shift. [Center for American Progress, A Progressive Agenda to Cut Poverty and Expand Opportunity, June 2016]

EPI: Irregular Scheduling Sees Higher Levels Of Work-Family Conflict. According to research from EPI, under 11 percent of regularly scheduled workers reported work-family conflict as a result of their work schedule compared to roughly 26 percent of workers on irregular/on-call scheduling. EPI found that “Work-family conflict is worsened not only by longer weekly hours of work, but also by having irregular shift work.” EPI noted that irregular scheduling “contributes to income instability” and is most prevalent for low-income workers. [Economic Policy Institute, 4/9/15]