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Democrats unveil measure to address unfair scheduling practices

Democrats unveil measure to address unfair scheduling practices
© Hill file photo

Democrats in the House and Senate on Wednesday unveiled legislation to address employers’ unstable, unpredictable scheduling practices.

“The Schedules that Work Act” would protect workers who ask their bosses for schedule changes. 

Employees of companies with more than 15 workers would have the right to request changes in their schedules without fear of retaliation. 

"Families are struggling to put food on the table and pay their bills, let alone take a vacation or think about putting their kids through college," Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said in a statement. 

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"Unpredictable scheduling means low-wage workers cannot plan ahead, or make arrangements to see that their kids and family are being taken care of. The Schedules That Work Act would protect workers from abuse and help ensure they can look after their families. 

Employers would be required to consider and respond to these schedule requests if they are made based on child or elder care, a second job, continued education, job training or because of a health condition.

That employer, a fact sheet of the bill says, would be required to grant that request unless there’s a legitimate business reason that would prevent its approval.

Under the bill, people who work in retail, food service or cleaning would be able to get their work schedules two weeks in advance and receive additional pay if they are put “on call.”

“A single mom should know if her hours are being canceled before she arranges for daycare and drives halfway across town to show up at work. Someone who wants to go to school to get an education should not be able to get fired just for asking for a more predictable schedule,” Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats: Where the hell are You? Dodd-Frank ripe for reform, not repeal Senate Dems offer bill to curb tax break for Trump nominees MORE (D-Mass.) said.

“A worker who is told to wait around on-call for hours with no guarantee of work hours should get something for his time. It's time to end unfair scheduling practices that hurt workers and families."

DeLauro, Warren and more than 75 other lawmakers introduced the measure.