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| Restoring a Fair Workweek

Congress to Consider Bill to Help Part-Timers

New York Post - July 22, 2014, by James Covert - Part-timers with increasingly unpredictable work schedules are taking their beef to Washington.

A congressional bill is slated for introduction Tuesday that would give workers more control over their hourly schedules at big retailers like Walmart, Home Depot and JCPenney.

Led by Walmart, major chains increasingly are switching around workers’ shifts on short notice, making it difficult and often impossible for part-timers to work second jobs.

The practice — common in retail, restaurant, janitorial and housekeeping jobs — has hit working mothers especially hard, according to critics.

Unpredictable work hours make it difficult to schedule everything from babysitters to doctor’s appointments.

“I think it’s gotten to a crisis point,” said Carrie Gleason, director of the Fair Workweek Initiative, a new campaign by the Center for Popular Democracy, adding workers need “some amount of predictability and stability in our work hours so we can live and manage our lives.”

The bill, sponsored by US Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), would require employers to give an extra hour of pay to workers summoned less than 24 hours in advance.

The bill would also guarantee a minimum of four hours’ pay if an employee is sent home early — a frequent occurrence at restaurants.