Con­sis­tent sched­ules help work­ers

The Times-Tribune - - EDITORIAL -

Many ser­vice in­dus­try work­ers al­ready strug­gle with low wages. And that is com­pounded by in­con­sis­tent sched­ul­ing that im­pedes their abil­ity to deal with their own or their chil­dren’s school sched­ules, day care, health care, trans­porta­tion and other every­day obli­ga­tions.

To pro­vide some con­sis­tency for those work­ers, San Fran­cisco in 2014 passed what it called a “fair work­week” law. It quickly caught on and was adopted by San Jose, Cal­i­for­nia; Seat­tle; Wash­ing­ton, D.C.; New York City and, then, all of New York state.

The lat­est out­post is Philadel­phia, where Coun­cil­woman He­len Gym has pro­posed an or­di­nance that would ap­ply to fast-food chains and re­tail­ers with at least 20 lo­ca­tions and 250 em­ploy­ees. Its pro­vi­sions are mod­est. It would re­quire ad­vance no­tice to work­ers of sched­ules, com­pen­sa­tion for sud­den sched­ule changes, pro­tec­tion from re­tal­i­a­tion for in­vok­ing the law’s pro­vi­sions, and ac­cess to as many work hours as pos­si­ble.

Ac­cord­ing to coun­cil’s es­ti­mates, the or­di­nance would ap­ply to about 130,000 jobs in Philadel­phia.

The pro­posal is a straight­for­ward step to help work­ers bal­ance their sched­ules and obli­ga­tions and to im­prove their pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The state Leg­is­la­ture should con­sider such a pro­posal statewide.

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