Promoting policy solutions that improve job quality is an essential part of CLASP's agenda to reduce poverty, support families, reward effort and expand opportunity. CLASP's advocacy on work/life and job quality concentrates on paid leave, predictable and responsive schedules, and advancement opportunities.

Job Scheduling and Responsive Workplaces

CLASP promotes responsive workplaces through policies and practices such as part-time equity, flexible scheduling, advance notification of schedules, guaranteed minimum hours, teleworking options, consistent and predictable hours of work, and more. Read more>>

Sick Days and Family Medical Leave 

CLASP advocates for state and federal policies that prevent workers from being denied time to tend to their own or a family member's health, or care for a new child. These policies include earned sick days, paid family and medical leave insurance, and expansions of the Family Medical Leave Act.
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Business Leadership and Job Quality 

CLASP engages with progressive business associations and directly with business owners to promote the business case for improved job quality policies.  Read more>>

Watch employer interviews about paid leave>>

Why We Need the Schedules that Work Act: Andrea's Story

By Liz Ben-Ishai

What is it like to have your life consumed by unpredictability and instability? What does it mean to worry about your economic security and your family’s well-being—but have almost no control over the forces that shape them? Many lower-wage workers know exactly what it’s like, as they struggle with job schedules that are extremely volatile, making it difficult to pay the bills, care for children, stay in school—and simply manage life.

Today, Representatives George Miller (D-CA) and Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are introducing a bill, the Schedules that Work Act, that could have a profound effect on the lives of workers who must deal with  employers that give them little notice of their job schedules; whose hours and schedules fluctuate from week to week; and who have little predictability, flexibility, and stability.

You can find out about the provisions of the bill here. But to really understand the bill, step into the shoes of a worker who has grappled with the very issues this law would help to address. Andrea, a  former retail worker, knows all too well what it means to have a schedule that doesn’t work. I had the privilege of listening to her story, and she’s allowed me to share it below.

Andrea’s Story*

Andrea, a hard-working single mom to two-year-old Ben, started working in a cosmetics store during the holiday season, when many retail outlets hire additional staff. After the holidays, Andrea was asked to stay on and join the team at the store.

The store’s typical practice is to send out schedules for the week by email on Sunday. This meant that she could be working Monday, but find out about it only the day before. Andrea’s weekly hours fluctuated wildly. One week she’d be scheduled to work 11 hours, the next 42. She was classified as part-time, which meant she was not entitled to overtime. On weekends, she would often be asked to work from 11:00 AM-9:00 PM or 12:00-10:00 PM.

Andrea’s son, Ben, has chronic asthma, so in addition to the typical illnesses that small children get, she had to deal with a more serious health issue that frequently meant he couldn’t go to child care or would be sent home early from child care. On days when Andrea couldn’t go into work, she would be under intense pressure to find someone to cover her shift, or she’d have to ask friends or family to care for a sick Ben. And, when Ben’s child care provider would call to say he needed to be picked up because he was sick, her boss wasn’t very understanding. Rather, Andrea would be punished with extra-long weekend shifts or by being denied requested days off, even when she submitted these requests long in advance—well before schedules had been made.

Read more of Andrea's story >>

Having a fair, reasonable schedule that allows workers to care for their families and pursue higher education shouldn’t be something reserved for those who are lucky enough to have an employer with unusually good practices. Thankfully, Andrea no longer has to deal with the chaos of an unpredictable schedule. It’s time for all workers to be free from the stresses and strains of unfair scheduling practices (not just those who happen to get hired by a particular employer)! That’s why we are thrilled about the introduction of the Schedules that Work Act.

Learn more about the bill >>

*Names have been changed to protect privacy

Paid Sick Days

As part of its work life and job quality work, CLASP advocates for state and federal paid sick days policies that will allow more workers to take time off when they need to tend to their own or a family member's health. READ MORE »
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