There is a growing movement across our nation for fair work schedules. This movement is spurred by women like Hilaria Bonilla, a single mother, who testified in a hearing on Maryland’s fair work schedules bill [PDF] about the consequences to her family of an extremely difficult work schedule. She has worked for her employer for more than a decade and earns only $11 per hour. Getting only one week’s notice of her schedule makes it extremely difficult for Ms. Bonilla to be involved in her 10 year old daughter’s school or to make doctor’s appointments for herself or her daughter. Despite having asked not to work nights, she is routinely assigned to the night shift. Ms. Bonilla testified that having more notice and more of a say in when she works would make all the difference to her ability to care for her daughter.
Because women make up two-thirds of workers in low-wage jobs and still shoulder the lion’s share of caregiving responsibilities, scheduling practices common in low-wage industries, like giving workers no say in their schedules and little advance notice of when they work, hit women especially hard. Ms. Bonilla and all workers deserve fair work schedules that give them a fair shot at caring for and providing for their families.
In Recent Introduced and Enacted State and Local Fair Scheduling Legislation, we summarize the ten state bills that have been introduced between 2014 and April 2015 that would provide workers with more of a say in their work schedules, and more predictable and stable schedules. This legislation would provide crucial workplace protections for workers like Hilaria Bonilla. There will surely be additional developments in this dynamic movement, so please check back for periodic updates.