ABB has been spearheading a new initiative to help workers harmed by the time crunch caused by insufficient control over their work schedules. While lack of schedule control impacts most workers, it has become a particularly critical problem for those at the bottom of the economic spectrum; many low-income workers don’t even know what their work hours will be 24 hours before their shift, making family life difficult or impossible.
ABB is part of the brain trust generating solutions to this problem. In 2015, ABB Co-President Sherry Leiwant published an article in the Clearinghouse Review, co-authored with colleagues from the Center for Popular Democracy, on potential legal and policy solutions to the problems of unpredictable and often abusive scheduling practices. And in September of 2015, ABB released Families and Flexibility: Building the 21st Century Workplace, a report co-authored with New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer based on an extensive survey of New York City workers. The survey found an overwhelming need for workplace protections like the right to request flexibility, prior notice of one’s work schedule, and paid family leave. ABB also played a key role in drafting the first federal bill introduced to address abusive scheduling practices. The Schedules That Work Act would give all workers the right to request a flexible or stable work schedule without fear of retaliation, and would promote predictable scheduling for workers in certain industries, ensuring that they receive compensation when their employers require them to be “on-call.” ABB is continuing to work with coalitions around the country who want to address this growing problem in their state or locality.