I’m really pleased this is getting attention:
As more workers find their lives upended and their paychecks reduced by ever-changing, on-call schedules, government officials are trying to put limits on the harshest of those scheduling practices.
The actions reflect a growing national movement — fueled by women’s and labor groups — to curb practices that affect millions of families, like assigning just one or two days of work a week or requiring employees to work unpredictable hours that wreak havoc with everyday routines like college and child care.
The recent, rapid spread of on-call employment to retail and other sectors has prompted proposals that would require companies to pay employees extra for on-call work and to give two weeks’ notice of a work schedule.
Vermont and San Francisco have adopted laws giving workers the right to request flexible or predictable schedules to make it easier to take care of children or aging parents. Scott M. Stringer, the New York City comptroller, is pressing the City Council to take up such legislation. And last month, President Obama ordered federal agencies to give the “right to request” to two million federal workers.
Chaos in families is part of it and that chaos ripples, because the people caring for the children of employees with “on call” schedules also become subject to the needs of the employer. It’s not just people with children, either, and they don’t need to be attending classes or doing something considered productive and industrious to ask for predictability and order. Maybe they just want to have certain planned blocks of time where the demands of their low wage employer are not put above their own needs or desires.
It’s pretty amazing what they were getting away with:
Fatimah Muhammad said that at the Joe Fresh clothing store where she works in Manhattan, some weeks she was scheduled to work just one day but was on call for four days — meaning she had to call the store each morning to see whether it needed her to work that day.
“I felt kind of stuck. I couldn’t make plans,” said Ms. Muhammad, who said she was now assigned 25 hours a week.
They were paying her for one day but they kept her tied up for five.