On-callÂ scheduling is one of the worst common and legal abuses inflicted on service workers that non-service workers may know nothing about. The practice, in which bosses don’t give workers set schedules but force them to be available at the drop of a hat, can make it virtually impossibleÂ to hold a second job;Â hugely complicates childcare arrangements for workers who are parents;Â and means that workers don’t know what their income will be week to week. Laws to curb the worst scheduling abuses have started to gain some momentum, but theyâ€™re still rare.
Philadelphia, though, may become the next city to pass aÂ fair workweek bill, with aÂ measure introduced by Councilmember Helen Gym scheduled for Dec.Â 6 city council vote:
The bill requires eligible employers to start giving their employees a good-faith estimate of their work schedule when theyâ€™re hired. That doesnâ€™t have to be a precise weekly schedule, but it must include things like the average number of work hours employees will be scheduled on each week, whether theyâ€™ll be needed for on-call shifts, and times they can and cannot be expected to work. Starting in 2020, eligible employers will also have to post detailed work schedules 10 days in advance; that time frame changes to 14 days in 2021. If hours arenâ€™t included in the designated work schedule, employees can decline to work them.
What gives Phillyâ€™s bill teeth is that, if employers change the posted work schedule after that 10 or 14 day limit, theyâ€™ll also have to pay the employee a â€śpredictability payâ€ť fee, in addition to the employeeâ€™s hourly wage for the hours in question.
PhiladelphiaÂ would joinÂ New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, and Emeryville, California, as well asÂ the state of Oregon in having a fair workweek law.
This blog was originally published at Daily Kos on December 1, 2018. Reprinted with permission.Â
About the Author: Laura Clawson is labor editor at Daily Kos.