By Rebecca Shabad - 07/15/15 03:35 PM EDT
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.
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 WarrenThe Trail 2016: Dems struggle for unity Reid throws wrench into Clinton vice presidential picks Reid: 'Hell no' to VP pick from state with a Republican governor 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.