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Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro

Representing the 3rd District of Connecticut

DeLauro Leads Advocates, Retail Workers in Push for Predictable Work Schedules Ahead of the Holidays

November 14, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (November 14, 2017) —Today, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) led advocacy leaders and retail workers in a call for fairer workplace scheduling policies. DeLauro’s bill, the Schedules That Work Act, would help ensure that low-wage employees have more certainty about their work schedules and income.

“As we head into the holiday season, it is important we remember that the people who work in the retail and service industries are facing challenges that are real, and they are solvable,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “Workers should be able to request their schedule in advance without fearing they will be fired for it. They should also be compensated when they are forced to work ‘split-shifts’ or sent home early even though they are scheduled to work an entire shift. The Schedules That Work Act is about ensuring basic fairness in scheduling practices, and I am proud to stand with workers across the country in the fight for more predictable work schedules.”

“For millions of people working in retail and other low-wage jobs, the holiday season only heightens the strain of the unpredictable and unstable work schedules they face year-round. When you don’t know when you’ll have work or for how long, it can be impossible to arrange child care, schedule doctor’s visits, go to school, or hold down another job to make ends meet,” said Julie Vogtman, Director of Job Quality and Senior Counsel at the National Women’s Law Center. “Women especially feel this strain because of their outsize family caregiving responsibilities and the fact that they are the majority of low-wage workers. And the stress of unfair work schedules harms entire families, including the children for whom parents must scramble to find last-minute care. The Schedules That Work Act would provide greater predictability and stability in the industries that need it most and give all working people a voice in their schedules. It’s past time for Congress to put working families first and pass this bill.”

“I’ve been working at Walmart for 5 years as a maintenance associate. I see so many workers come in and out of the store I work at, struggling to make ends meet,” said James Collins, Walmart associate and Making Change at Walmart advocate. “I have seen part time workers ask to go full time, and while management promises that eventually they will, workers are left on the hook for so long that they often get frustrated and leave. In fact, turnover is so high at the Walmart I work at, that a sign was posted in a workroom with a turnover rate of 321% and a store goal of reducing that to only 150%. Workers like me, deserve to be treated with respect and deserve fair schedules that allow us be good workers and allow us to take care of our families.”

"The holiday season is a stressful one for many Americans in the service industry whose employers demand that they work erratic, unpredictable hours," said Carrie Gleason, Director of the Fair Workweek Initiative at the Center for Popular Democracy. "We need to do more to ensure working Americans have the stability and reliability they need to balance a job and other responsibilities. Working people across America have spoken up and won protections that give them more input into their workweeks and the chance to know their hours well in advance. Now is the time to take that fight national. We support the Schedules That Work Act because all Americans deserve hours that they can count on."

“My schedule is always jumping around. When I first started, sometimes I was full-time, sometimes part-time. It was never the exact number of hours I needed," said Madison Nardy, Target Sales Associate and Member of One Pennsylvania. "I can't afford to live on less than 20 hours a week. If I had a stable schedule, I would get to do things like study and have dinner with my family. I would actually be able to afford to live. That’s why my coworkers and I all need fair and regular hours."

The Schedules That Work Act would give working people a say in their schedules by prohibiting employers from retaliating against workers who request schedules that work for their lives and for their families. The legislation also requires employers to give retail, restaurant, and cleaning workers their schedules two weeks in advance and ensures these workers are compensated for being asked to work with little notice, when they are sent home early, or when they work split-shifts. There is a growing consensus that workers need workplace protections from unfair scheduling practices, with many cities and states considering similar legislation, and several places—including New York City and the State of Oregon—enacting laws.