News Releases

The ‘Schedules That Work Act’ would provide greater stability to hourly and low-wage workers across the country 

Sen. Murray: “…while President Trump continues to break promise after promise to workers, we will keep fighting to restore economic security and stability to more families” 

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) partnered with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03) to reintroduce the Schedules that Work Act, legislation that would help ensure that low-wage employees have more certainty about their work schedules and income. The Schedules That Work Act provides all employees with the right to request a more flexible or predictable schedule and requires employers in food service, cleaning, and retail occupations with 15 or more workers, to provide schedules two weeks in advance. The legislation also provides a small amount of extra shift pay to these employees in these industries when their schedules are changed abruptly or they are assigned to particularly difficult shifts—including split shifts and call-in shifts. There is a growing consensus that workers need workplace protections from the abusive scheduling practices, with many cities and states considering similar legislation, and several cities, including Seattle and New York City, enacting similar legislation.

“We need to build an economy that works for all families, but unfair scheduling practices keep workers guessing about when they’ll be called in to work and without any guarantee of how much money they’ll earn in a given week,” said Senator Murray, Ranking Member of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “Too many workers today are facing uncertainty about whether they’ll be able to pay their bills and support their families, and while President Trump continues to break promise after promise to workers, we will keep fighting to restore economic security and stability to more families.”

“Working Americans are clamoring for a more sustainable workweek, one that lets them plan ahead and allows them to work hard and balance their time with their families. Working people are standing up for respect and stability,” said Carrie Gleason, Director of the Fair Workweek Initiative at the Center for Popular Democracy. “We have won fair workweek laws in a slew of cities and the movement is only growing. We are proud to support Senator Warren and Representative DeLauro as they push to enact these policies nationwide through the Schedules that Work Act.”

“When you don’t know when you’ll have to go to work or for how long, it’s virtually impossible to arrange child care, hold down a second job to make ends meet, or attend school to improve your chance for success. Women, who are the majority of those in low-wage jobs and who shoulder the lion’s share of family caregiving obligations, disproportionately bear the brunt of unstable, unpredictable work schedules. And the stress of these schedules harms entire families, including the children for whom working parents must scramble to find last-minute care,” said Emily Martin, Vice-President for Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center. “The Schedules That Work Act would provide greater predictability and stability in the industries that need it most and give all working people a voice in their schedules. We urge Congress to pass this commonsense legislation and make the economy work better for everyone.”

According to new data released from a new Center for Popular Democracy poll, three in four Americans support fair workweek policies. The poll also found that 67 percent of working Americans in hourly jobs are vulnerable to unstable, unpredictable work hours, with many of them reporting the following issues:  

  • 27% have experienced a schedule change on the day of work: the employer makes mandatory changes to the employee’s schedule on the day of his/her shift;
  • 27% have experienced back-to-back shifts: the employer schedules the employee to work back-to-back closing and opening shifts with less than 11 hours between them;
  • 31% have experienced a schedule change after it is posted: the employer regularly changes the employee’s schedule after it has been posted;
  • 38% have experienced a change in hours: the employer changes the number of hours the  employee is scheduled to work from week to week; and
  • 49% have experience limited hours: the employee would like to work more hours than he/she is usually scheduled to work in a week.