Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Warren has released a “Fair Workweek Plan” that aims to eliminate some of the issues millions of part-time workers face from unpredictable schedules.
What We Know:
- Warren’s plan would require employers with 15 or more employees in sectors such as retail, food service, cleaning, hospitality and warehouses, to give their workers at least two weeks’ advance notice of their schedules. If changes were made, employees would have the right to decline hours that weren’t originally scheduled. Employers would also have to accommodate affected employees.
- A big suggestion within the plan is that employees would have the right to rest for 11 hours in between work shifts, compared to the 8 required by law. Workers would have to consider schedule requests in good faith and provide valid reasoning for unapproved work requests.
- Warren also petitioned to provide part-time workers benefits in cases where they have worked for a company for over a year and retirement plans if they’ve worked 500 hours for a company for two years or more.
- In a study from the University of California, Berkeley that surveyed 30,000 employees at 120 large retail and food-service companies in the U.S., two-thirds of workers reported getting less than two weeks’ notice for shifts, with one-third getting less than one week’s notice. And about 1 in 7 workers said they’d had at least one shift canceled in the last month, Huffpost reports.
- UC Berkeley’s “The Shift Project” revealed the already known issue that unpredictable work schedules make it hard for parents to find suitable child care, and that a canceled shift can mean a harmful loss in expected wages for people who are paid by the hour.
- Warren’s plan comes a month after she reintroduced the Schedules That Work Act in Congress. It was first introduced in 2015 and would require that companies give workers additional pay if they don’t provide two weeks’ notice of their schedules, or if they send workers home early on slow days, among other protections.
Warren has also proposed other plans that would benefit lower-wage workers, including establishing a higher minimum wage and “Medicare for All”.