California Workers Deserve Reliable Schedules

California Workers Deserve Reliable Schedules 

Senator Leyva introduces The Reliable Scheduling Act to bring stability to families across California

By Rachel Warino

Imagine not knowing if you’re going to work tonight or not. Imagine living in that cycle of instability day in and day out, week after week. Childcare, doctor’s appointments, second jobs, going to school to advance your career all of a sudden seems impossible to manage.

Working people are routinely put “on call” when not at work – requiring them to be ready to come in at a moment’s notice and they are often sent home without compensation for scheduled hours when business is slow.  Beyond having to juggle a schedule that can change at the last minute, the lack of reliable work hours means working families have unreliable paychecks and are constantly uncertain if they will be able to pay their bills and put food on the table this month.  This issue is far more commonplace and affects more workers than many might realize: recent studies have shown more than 40% of young workers (ages 26 to 32) receive one week or less advance notice of their job schedules. Nearly 70% of mothers and 80% of fathers of children ages 12 or younger who work in hourly jobs receive hours that can change nearly half the time.

This is a reality for far too many workers across California and it’s time for change.

There’s a national movement to address this very issue, and working people in California continue to lead the charge for practical solutions with The Reliable Scheduling Act, SB 878 (Leyva).  Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), who has experienced the lack of a reliable schedule first-hand- introduced the SB 878 to bring much-needed stability to working families.

This Reliable Scheduling Act will:

  • Require employers to provide workers with a three-week schedule at least one week in advance.
  • Guarantee “modification pay” for workers whose schedules are changed on short notice, or who are forced to spend hours “on-call” while not at work.
  • Assist employers by providing flexibility for workers to trade shifts, or for employers to change schedules due to events outside their control, like natural disasters or if previously scheduled workers do not show up.

Introducing SB 878 today at the Capitol, Senator Leyva said:

“Workers with reliable schedules also have reliable paychecks, which are vitally important so that they have an idea how much they will be making week to week. Reliable schedules also allow workers to better plan and schedule childcare, attend school to improve their knowledge and take care of their day-to-day needs. With SB 878, businesses fully retain the ability to decide the schedules of their workers, but simply asks that they plan ahead so that their workers have a better idea of their work schedules more than just a couple of days ahead of time. Workers without these guarantees can suffer a chain reaction of outcomes that threaten their incomes, education and ability to care for children and other family members that depend on them. Unfortunately, this is the case for millions of workers nationwide, the majority of whom are women and people of color. Reliable scheduling will make a positive impact in the daily lives of workers, so I thank everyone that has come on in strong support of this effort.”

California Labor Federation Legislative Director Caitlin Vega added: 

“The California Labor Federation proudly sponsors SB 878 because we know what a difference it will make in the lives of all working people. This historic legislation creates a pathway to economic security for those who need it the most. It gives workers the reliability they need from their schedules to ensure that they can take care of all the responsibilities today’s families face.”

The California Labor Federation and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council are cosponsors of the Reliable Scheduling Act. The California Legislative Women’s Caucus has also made passage of SB 878 one of its top priorities for 2016.

Jim Araby, Executive Director of the UFCW Western States Council on supporting this historic bill:

“UFCW has been on the forefront on improving the working conditions of retail workers for decades. As the new on-demand economy expands technology's impact on workers' daily lives, it is UFCW's mission to ensure workers are not overworked or treated as disposable, but valued as contributors to their respective companies and the broader economy. SB 878 is essential in integrating workers into this new economy with fairness and reliability.” 

TAKE ACTION! Stand with working people fighting for reliable schedules! Sign the petition today to urge your California legislators to vote yes on SB 878!