WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Rosa DeLauro announced on Thursday that they are reintroducing the Schedules That Work Act, a bill that would require employers to provide two weeks' advance notice and compensate workers for last-minute changes to schedules. At a secure scheduling panel in D.C., Co-Directors Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett shared findings from The Shift Project.
In a recently released Shift working paper, researchers find that workers of color, and particularly women of color, experience more unpredictable hours and last-minute scheduling changes than their white coworkers—this in an industry that disproportionately employs African American and Latinx workers. The paper, co-authored by Adam Storer, Daniel Schneider, and Kristen Harknett and the focus of this CNN article, attributes much of the scheduling gap between minority workers and white workers to managers' conscious or unconscious racial bias.
The New York Times published exclusive coverage of five new working papers from The Shift Project. Our latest research investigates associations between schedule instability and unpredictability and material hardship, child care, child behavioral outcomes, and job turnover. Perhaps the most striking finding is that exposure to unstable schedules is stratified by race: workers of color, and particularly women of color, experience worse schedules than their white counterparts.
The Shift Project released a new report documenting the consequences of unstable and unpredictable work schedules for workers and their families. Researchers find that unstable and unpredictable schedules, which disproportionately impact workers of color, lead to a measurable increase in material hardship and have intergenerational consequences for the children of service-sector workers. These practices are also linked to higher rates of job turnover.
Unpredictable and unstable schedules are commonplace in the retail and food-service sectors. Shift's survey of nearly 100,000 workers has shown that scheduling instability is associated with greater psychological distress and other negative health and wellbeing outcomes. This Vox piece cites Shift research on the human toll of just-in-time scheduling.
“We’ve seen job quality degrade over the past 50 years in lots of ways. We often actually talk about it in terms of pay, how the minimum wage at the federal level has been stagnant, how employer-provided benefits have eroded, particularly for low-income workers. Here we see another aspect of that kind of loss of job quality.” Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett set the stage for the #FairWorkweek fight in this KQED Forum radio interview.
Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett discuss the impact of unstable and unpredictable schedules on workers' health and well-being in this Washington Post opinion piece. Schneider and Harknett's research using the Shift data shows that time matters even more than money, and they assert here that, for workers’ lives to be manageable, employers need to make work predictable.
"The rallying cry for millions of fast food and retail workers is $15 an hour. But, low pay isn’t the only occupational hazard that baristas, servers, and cashiers face. These workers also contend with work schedules that are unstable and unpredictable." Shift Co-Directors Daniel Schneider and Kristen Harknett wrote this blog piece for the American Sociological Association's Work in Progress.
Shift Co-Director Kristen Harknett was interviewed for UCSF's Science of Caring. Kristen discussed The Shift Project's mission to build a large-scale dataset that allows researchers to better understand the impact of unstable work schedules on families.
Research by Shift co-directors Danny Schneider and Kristen Harknett was featured in a Fast Company piece on scheduling. The article draws on a recent paper, "Consequences of Routine Work-Schedule Instability for Worker Health and Well-Being," which explored associations between work schedules and sleep quality, distress, and overall happiness.