The Shift Project released a new research brief documenting the work experiences of retail and food service workers in Boston. The majority of those surveyed experience schedule instability and unpredictability, which create hardships and stress for workers and their families. Shift researchers also found possible negative associations between schedule insecurity and worker health and wellbeing. The research brief draws on survey data from 1,163 Boston-area service sector workers.
New research from The Shift Project explores the work and family lives of low-wage workers in the state of Washington, drawing on data from 3,847 Washington workers. The majority of those surveyed experience routine schedule instability and unpredictability, which create hardships and stress for themselves and their families.
On December 6, the City Council of Philadelphia joined Oregon, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Emeryville (CA) in passing secure scheduling legislation for low-wage service sector workers. The bill, which passed by a vote of 14-3, was proposed by City Council member Helen Gym and heartily supported by local advocates. The law will go into effect in January 2020. Shift's Philadelphia research brief, cited in this piece by Vice's Munchies, helped to inform the policy debate leading up to the Council's vote.
It's Black Friday, and the Center for American Progress's Pat Garofalo says today is "just the tip of the iceberg" when it comes to scheduling in the retail sector. This piece highlights Shift data from Philadelphia.
As Black Friday approaches, some companies are responding to a tight labor market by offering existing part-time workers more hours. The Society for Human Resource Management highlights Shift research in this piece on holiday staffing woes.
Are retail workers getting more hours? Shift lead investigator Daniel Schneider commented on the state of hourly work in the retail and restaurant industries, highlighting recent findings that 59% of workers surveyed by Shift this year want more hours. Schneider argued that the current tight labor market is "not a story of how we have maxed out the hours that people can work," but rather one of systemic underemployment in service-sector jobs.
Some eight months after The Shift Project released a report on our Philadelphia survey data, the Philadelphia City Council has voted a "Fair Workweek" secure scheduling bill out of committee. If passed, the bill will provide scheduling protections for certain retail, fast food, and hotel workers, including requiring that hourly employees receive at least 10 days' advance notice of schedules. Similar laws are already in effect in Oregon, New York City, Seattle, San Francisco, and Emeryville, CA. The bill is scheduled for a full vote on November 29, 2018.
The Shift Project is partnering with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, as part of a new Policies for Action Research Hub. The IWPR-UC Berkeley Research Hub is a signature research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation administered through the National Coordinating Center at the Urban Institute. P4A's research investigates public and private policies to explore the root causes of health disparities in America, and identify potential solutions to improve health, well-being, and equity. Shift will focus on the effects of chronic scheduling instability for workers and possible spillover effects...
Shift lead investigator Kristen Harknett was interviewed for this piece on new scheduling laws and what they mean for employers and workers. Harknett speculates that even after passing and implementing these laws, enforcement will be the next hurdle for proponents of predictive scheduling. "It's no small task," says Harknett. "Compared to minimum wage, this is much more complicated."
The Wall Street Journal investigates the impact of unpredictable scheduling and a wave of new scheduling laws in U.S. cities and states. The article cites Shift research, which shows that two-thirds of workers at the nation's largest retail and food service firms experience last-minutes changes to their schedules. "Wages certainly matter for outcomes like sleep and happiness," says lead investigator Daniel Schneider, "but schedules in our data matter much more."