The Fight for $15 labor movement has helped win higher wages for fast-food employees in several states, and now labor advocates are looking to improve standards of living for hourly workers in another way: more predictable scheduling.
In June, New York City passed a measure that requires fast-food restaurants to inform workers of their scheduled hours at least two weeks in advance, and be required to pay workers extra in the case of last-minute shift changes. A similar law is now awaiting the governor’s signature in Oregon, Reuters reports, and similar measures have been proposed in Chicago as well as the states of Connecticut, North Carolina, Ohio, and Massachussetts; Seattle and San Francisco have already passed their own versions.
Being subject to unpredictable or last-minute schedule changes can make it difficult for hourly workers to arrange for childcare or doctor’s appointments, and when shifts are suddenly cut or eliminated without warning, it can take a significant chunk out of workers’ paychecks.
New York City’s recently passed measure will affect 65,000 fast-food workers, Reuters notes, and is set to take effect later this year; it also requires workers to have at least an 11-hour break between scheduled shifts, or be paid time-and-a-half.
This push to improve living standards for hourly workers comes as the Trump administration has proven its commitment to rolling back some Obama-era worker protections: In June, the Labor Department withdrew its prior guidelines that sought to define big corporations such as McDonald’s and its franchisees as “joint employers,” which would have made the corporate entity ultimately liable for ensuring franchise employees receive fair pay and benefits.