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Restoring a Fair Workweek

The Fair Workweek Initiative

Low-wage workers and their families are struggling. Over the last decade, growing industries like retail, hospitality, and health care are creating an economy full of low-wage, no-benefit, part-time jobs with unreliable work hours. Corporate use of just-in-time scheduling is fueling massive under-employment and economic insecurity for working families. 

At the same time, workers endure debilitating stress due to uncertainty about when they’ll work and how much they’ll earn each week. Unable to predict their hours or pay from day to day, hourly workers struggle to balance...

Low-wage workers and their families are struggling. Over the last decade, growing industries like retail, hospitality, and health care are creating an economy full of low-wage, no-benefit, part-time jobs with unreliable work hours. Corporate use of just-in-time scheduling is fueling massive under-employment and economic insecurity for working families. 

At the same time, workers endure debilitating stress due to uncertainty about when they’ll work and how much they’ll earn each week. Unable to predict their hours or pay from day to day, hourly workers struggle to balance their job with college classes, enrol their children in quality child care, secure a second job, qualify for promotions, maintain healthy routines, or be there for their families. Women and workers of color, particularly in Black communities, are especially hard hit by the trend to structure hourly work in unstable part-time jobs.

The Fair Workweek Initiative (FWI) is a collaborative effort anchored by the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and United for Respect (UFR). FWI is bringing together leading worker-organizing, community-based organizations across the country, and allied research and policy groups to develop, drive, and win policy solutions at the local, state, and federal levels. These efforts concentrate on the priorities of low-wage women and women of color, and puts impacted communities at the forefront of the fight.

We are working to shift employer practices and advance transformative policy change that achieves: 

  •  Predictable, stable, and transparent schedules

  •  Access to full-time employment

  •  Healthy work hours with adequate rest

  •  A voice in our work schedules

  •  Use of workforce management and scheduling technologies that respond to workers’ needs

  •  A 21st-century social safety net for today’s workforce

With this new baseline, we can provide working families with stable employment, a livable income, and adequate work house that will ensure working families can thrive.

Campaign Blog

Workers Tell Congress Why We Need a Fair Workweek

Last month, hourly service workers from CPD affiliates United for Respect and One Pennsylvania called on Congress to guarantee a fair workweek and...

Philadelphia Passes Fair Workweek Policy Impacting 130,000 Workers

On December 6, with a 14-3 vote and a packed chamber, the Philadelphia City Council passed a fair workweek ordinance impacting 130,000 service...

Monumental Win for Toys R Us Employees

As we get ready for Thanksgiving, we wanted to pass along exciting news about a new win for working people and families. Word is out that...

Fair Workweek Initiative to Expand with Organization United for Respect

We are pleased to announce that the Fair Workweek Initiative (FWI) is expanding and becoming a joint partnership between Organization United for...

Toys R Us Workers Are Standing Up and Taking Action

Toys R Us workers are standing up and taking action as over 33,000 workers and their families lost the jobs they love last week. Over 100 Toys R...

New Report Explores Walmart’s Phantom Ladder of Opportunity

Walmart drives working conditions in retail. Their size is unparalleled: with 1.5 million American workers, the company is the largest corporate...

CPD Network Stands with Toys R Us Workers in Washington, DC

Toys R Us workers, their allies in Congress and more than 100 community leaders gathered on Capitol Hill on May 9 to demand accountability of Wall...

Fair Workweek Initiative Demands Employees Receive Severance Pay After Bankrupt Toys R Us Pays Millions in Executive Bonuses

Wall Street is taking over America’s biggest employers and bankrupting them – destroying jobs and hurting local economies. When Toys R Us recently...

New Report Shows How to Promote Economic Security for the Retail Workforce

On November 13, CPD and the Fair Workweek Initiative released “Job Quality and Economic Opportunity in Retail.” The growth of the service economy in...

facts & figures

Ever-changing schedules force us to be available 24/7 without a guaranteed steady income, wreaking havoc on our family lives and economic security. Surveys of hourly service-sector workers show:

  • Half work less than 35 hours each week, and two-thirds of these part-time workers want to work more hours.

  • ...

Ever-changing schedules force us to be available 24/7 without a guaranteed steady income, wreaking havoc on our family lives and economic security. Surveys of hourly service-sector workers show:

  • Half work less than 35 hours each week, and two-thirds of these part-time workers want to work more hours.

  • About two-thirds of workers receive their work schedule with less than two weeks’ advance notice, and about one-third receive their schedule with less than one week’s notice.

    • 80% of workers have little to no input into their schedules, which are decided unilaterally by their employer.

  • Half of all hourly service workers work unhealthy “clopening” shifts that require them to close their workplace late at night and return early the next morning to open on little rest.

  • 69% of workers’ employers require them to keep their schedules “open and available,” which leaves them at the whim of employers. 

  • Workers who experience last-minute shift cancellations, on-call scheduling, and clopenings are far more likely than workers in similar jobs with stable schedules to report psychological distress, poor sleep, and unhappiness.

Click here to download the infographic.

media

News

News

10.17.2019

WASHINGTON -- In a roundtable discussion today with retail...

10/17/2019

Unpredictable schedules can be brutal for hourly workers, upending their lives. New research...

10/16/2019 | The New York Times

Alicia Fleming had worked as a server at restaurants in Massachusetts for a decade...

10/15/2019 | Vox

In the retail industry, software for scheduling employee hours is a big sticking point, says...

04/30/2019 | Fortune

“Just-in-time scheduling is the practice, pervasive in low-wage industries, of publishing work...

04/10/2019 | Maine Beacon

Between 2013 and 2015, the DOL helped workers collect an average of $27 million annually in...

04/9/2019 | AM New York

The researchers’ work was supported by grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Washington...

03/1/2019 | UChicago News

Two out of three retail workers believe that technology will eventually replace some of their...

02/28/2019 | Fortune

Former store manager Tracy Auerbach teamed up with Rise Up Retail and Center for Popular...

01/4/2019 | KJZZ