“Unpredictable and unstable work schedules are more strongly associated with psychological distress than low wages because they are more likely to increase work-life conflict.”
Wages and many other aspects of employment affect the economic well-being of workers and their families, including hours worked, employee benefits, and work scheduling. In 2017, most adults were optimistic about their future labor market opportunities. Three in 10 adults work in the “gig economy,” though generally as a supplemental source of income.
Armed with a new study that shows the devastating impact of “just-in-time scheduling,” a coalition of alderman and union leaders on Thursday made a renewed push for a “fair work-week” they called a “basic human rights issue.”
We encourage businesses to adopt fair scheduling practices that offer a win-win for both them and their employees.
Protecting workers who bear the brunt of last-minute changes to their schedules, some even after they’ve shown up to work, is a practice that many businesses already do. If you hire a catering company or book an event space, and cancel at the last minute, most caterers or event spaces keep deposits to cover the built-in costs of doing business. The same protection should be granted to workers who are told to go home or have to set up extra child care coverage, or skip a class or training program, when their schedules change.
The Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance will make for happier, more loyal workers, which is good for business. It will reduce income inequality, which is good for the economy. Businesses should work hand-in-hand with labor to accomplish something great for Chicago.
For the life of us, we don’t understand why a minimum-wage worker shouldn’t have a regular schedule and get an extra hour of pay if asked to come in at the last minute.