Low wages can make it hard for workers to support themselves and their families, but wages are not the only problem. Low-wage jobs are often marked by scheduling policies and practices that pose particular challenges for workers, especially those with significant responsibilities outside of their job, including
caregiving, pursuing education and workforce training, or holding down a second job. Some require mandatory overtime, or working nights, weekends, or even overnight, and many offer only part-time work, despite many workers’ need for full-time hours.
Women are disproportionately affected by this problem, because women both hold the majority of low-wage jobs and shoulder the majority of caregiving
responsibilities. For the 41,000 low-wage workers (working in jobs that, nationally, typically pay $10.50 or less) in Washington, D.C., difficult scheduling practices all too often undermine their best efforts to provide for their families. And for the 40 percent of families with children in Washington, D.C. that are headed by single mothers6 scheduling challenges can be especially acute, because there is often no one else with whom to share caregiving responsibilities.