July 20, 2015

Boston Globe: Bills seek more stable hours for low-paid workers

Boston, MA - Compared to many fast-food workers, Erica Bentencourt has a fairly set schedule. She is supposed to work in the kitchen at the Holbrook Burger King Tuesday through Saturday, opening at 5 a.m. and leaving at 2 p.m. But when coworkers call in sick, she is often asked to stay late or come in on her day off. When business is slow, she is sent home early.

Working extra hours means she has to scramble to find child care for her 9-year-old son. But working fewer hours is worse.

"When they start to cut hours, it affects me paying my bills," said Bentencourt, 33.

Unpredictable scheduling is on the rise across the country as the part-time and around-the-clock labor force expands, and there is a growing movement to give employees, most of them low-wage, more control over when they work.

A federal bill reintroduced last week and cosponsored by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, as well as bills in 10 states, including Massachusetts, would require employers to stabilize schedules, from posting work shifts several weeks in advance to giving additional pay to workers who are on call, or whose shifts are cut or changed on short notice.


Read the full article on the Boston Globe website here.