Working Washington has an expert panel detail academic studies supporting new policy

Yesterday afternoon we hosted an expert academic panel including Dr. Anna Haley-Lock (Rutgers University), Daniel Schneider (UC Berkeley) and Dr. Kristen Harknett (University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley) and guess what they’ve all been studying?  The effects of secure scheduling.

And guess what they found?  There are clear, negative impacts on workers and their families from unstable and unpredictable scheduling practices.  Dr. Anna Haley-Lock ran a study on the impact scheduling practices have on students, which uniquely detailed the unintended consequences of current scheduling practices.  Mr. Schneider and Dr. Harknett ran a first-of-its-kind project which gathered data from more than 7,000 low-wage workers across the country — a scope which is pretty unique.  Amongst other things they found:

  • 60% of workers report day to day or week to week schedule fluctuations
  • Over 60% of workers receive less than two weeks notice of their schedules
  • Over 50% report significant income fluctuation, affecting their ability to pay bills and budget
  • Using validated psychological questioning revealed 43% of workers experience significant psychological stress
  • 69% of workers involuntarily work part time and have a desire for more hours

It isn’t just the workers who are directly affected by unpredictable schedules, but oftentimes their families pay the price as well.  As Mr. Schneider pointed out, many workers who sign up to take any and all shifts are simply desperate for the income, and “take the job to be there for their families, but with the hours can’t be there for their families”.  While some companies step up to make sure their employees are guaranteed a certain amount of hours no matter what, far too many others leave their workers with wildly fluctuating hours and unpredictable, short-notice schedules.  And with many workers with children receiving short notice of their schedules, it directly affects the success of their children in school.  In a study, Dr. Haley-Lock found that “schools often don’t provide enough notice for parents to get time off.  And when they do, parents’ schedules can change anyway”.  Secure scheduling would help provide the consistency a parent needs to be engaged in their child’s education.

At this point workers, their families, academics nationwide, the city council, and even big business lobbyists can plainly see it’s time for a change when it comes to inconsistent scheduling practices. It’s because of this that the momentum for secure scheduling legislation is growing stronger than ever, and we’re just one final push away from making these groundbreaking laws a reality.

This research is just one more reason why Working Washington members and their supporters will benefit when the secure scheduling legislation they’ve fought so hard for is passed.

See the full panel here!