July 15, 2015

Warren, DeLauro, Murray, Scott, Murphy introduce Schedules that Work Act to end unstable scheduling practices

Legislation supported by women, labor and civil rights groups would provide greater stability to hourly and low-wage workers

Fact Sheet

Bill Text

Washington, DC - Today, United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), and 75 of their colleagues introduced the Schedules that Work Act in the Senate and House. The legislation addresses unstable, unpredictable, and rigid scheduling practices like placing workers "on-call" with no guarantee of work hours, scheduling them for "split shifts" of non-consecutive hours, sending workers home early without pay when demand is low and punishing workers who request schedule changes.

These scheduling practices disproportionately affect low-wage workers and workers in retail, food service, and cleaning occupations, and make it hard for these workers and their families to maintain stable child care, care for other family members, pursue career development or other education, get or keep a second job, or take care of their own health. Variable schedules can also lead to significant fluctuations in income for workers. As a result, workers struggle to manage their household incomes and balance professional responsibilities with individual and family needs.

"This bill is about basic fairness," said Senator Warren. "A single mom should know if her hours are being canceled before she arranges for daycare and drives halfway across town to show up at work. Someone who wants to go to school to get an education should not be able to get fired just for asking for a more predictable schedule. A worker who is told to wait around on-call for hours with no guarantee of work hours should get something for his time. It's time to end unfair scheduling practices that hurt workers and families."

"Families are struggling to put food on the table and pay their bills, let alone take a vacation or think about putting their kids through college," said Congresswoman DeLauro. "Unpredictable scheduling means low-wage workers cannot plan ahead, or make arrangements to see that their kids and family are being taken care of. The Schedules That Work Act would protect workers from abuse and help ensure they can look after their families. Congress needs to ensure that people putting in a hard day's work get a fair day's pay and the ability to care for their loved ones."

"Our country, our economy, and our workplaces should work for all families, not just the wealthiest few, but today, unfair scheduling practices keep workers guessing on when they'll be called in to work and with no guarantee of how much money they'll earn in a given week," Senator Murray said. "That makes it nearly impossible for many workers to balance their jobs with individual and family needs. Our bill would alleviate some of that needless pressure on workers and restore economic security and stability to more families."

"Employers are constantly counting on workers to increase their bottom lines and workers deliver-again and again," said Congressman Scott. "In return, workers ought to be able to count on their employers to provide a stable schedule and a steady paycheck. At a time when families are still struggling to make ends meet, the Schedule that Works Act gives workers the ability to plan their lives. We can rebuild our nation's middle class by giving hardworking families and Americans a long overdue raise, and by protecting them from the most abusive work scheduling practices that threaten their livelihoods and their families."

"This effort is about giving hourly workers the freedom and stability to be there for their kids, budget their money, and make time for a life without being tethered to their jobs. Hourly workers can't plan for the future, let alone next month, when they don't know how many hours they'll work or even which days of the week they'll be expected to work," said Senator Murphy. "Congress must pass the Schedules That Work Act because it's a commonsense way to improve workers' lives."

The Schedules that Work Act has been endorsed by numerous women's, labor, and civil rights groups, including 9to5 National Association of Working Women, A Better Balance, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, American Association of University Women, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), Catalyst, Center for Community Change Action, Center for Effective Government, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Center for Popular Democracy, Central Florida Jobs with Justice, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Colorado Center on Law and Policy, Communications Workers of America, Connecticut Association for Human Services, DC Jobs With Justice, Economic Policy Institute, EINet, Equal Rights Advocates, Family Forward Oregon, Family Values @ Work, Gender Justice, Indiana Institute for Working Families, Institute for Science and Human Values, Interfaith Worker Justice, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Implement Workers of America (UAW), Jewish Women International, Jobs With Justice, Labor Project for Working Families, Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Maine Women's Lobby, Make the Road CT, Massachusetts Communities Action Network, MO Organizing for Reform and Empowerment, Mom-mentum, MomsRising, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters, National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Council of Jewish Women, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Employment Law Project, National Employment Lawyers Association, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Women's Law Center, New Jersey Main Street Alliance, New York Union Child Care Coalition, NJ Industrial Union Council, NJ Time to Care Coalition, PowHer New York - Equal Pay Campaign, Public Justice Center, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, Retail Action Project, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Rise Up, Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, Susan Knape Associates Inc., The Make It Work Campaign, UltraViolet, UNITE HERE, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective (WMDSC), Western Center on Law and Poverty, Wider Opportunities for Women, Wisconsin Jobs Now, Women Employed, Women's Law Project, Woodstock Institute, Working America, Working Partnerships USA, Young Invincibles, and YWCA USA.