Paid Sick Days
The nation has entered an exciting new era that will allow millions of lower-wage workers to access health care insurance. Tragically, many of these workers will be unable to take advantage of this historic new benefit because they cannot take time off of work to get the care they need due to lack of 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.
Jun 22, 2017 | PERMALINK »
San Francisco Leads on Fair Scheduling, But Better Enforcement Needed
When San Francisco passed the Formula Retail Employee Rights Ordinances (FRERO) in November 2014, it broke new ground for workers’ rights. FRERO was the first public policy to attack unfair scheduling practices and has bolstered support for similar policies around the nation.
Scheduling on the Cutting Edge, a new report from CLASP and Young Workers United, highlights FRERO’s great promise as well as the work still needed to effectively implement it.
The report, based on a survey of 241 workers covered under the law, finds that FRERO provides critical protections to workers but needs to be better enforced. Low public awareness, lack of business compliance, and limited outreach and enforcement resources are reducing the law’s impact.
The first law of its kind, FRERO requires retail employers to provide workers at least 7 days’ notice of their schedules. It also requires them to compensate workers when shifts are changed or cancelled with insufficient notice (known as “predictability pay”) or when they are “on call” but ultimately not needed. Additionally, FRERO requires employers to offer available hours to current workers before hiring new staff.
FRERO has the potential to be a game-changer for many lower-income workers, helping them to plan their lives, arrange child care, pursue education, and manage finances. Indeed, surveyed workers said predictable schedules brought stability to their lives. However, more than a year into implementation, just 18 percent of workers were familiar with the law. Moreover, many workers said their employers weren’t complying with every rule. Among workers who experienced shifts changes—including cancelled or added shifts—with less than a week’s notice, just 30 percent received predictability pay. Furthermore, despite the fact that many workers expressed a desire for more hours of work, a majority said they weren’t offered additional hours before employers hired new staff.
Advocates and community-based organizations in San Francisco, including YWU, have been working diligently to spread the word about FRERO, despite limited resources. YWU is part of a collective of community-based organizations that partner with San Francisco’s enforcement agency to raise awareness about FRERO and other worker protections. These efforts have empowered workers to challenge unfair labor practices, including by filing claims with the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE), the agency enforcing the law. Yet as the report notes, more resources are needed as the collective undertakes outreach on a growing number of laws, including FRERO.
In addition to highlighting the need for resources to support community-agency partnerships, the report calls for increased, dedicated staffing for FRERO enforcement at OLSE and recommends that OLSE approach enforcement strategically. It should focus its efforts on high-violation areas and be proactive about identifying violations, as opposed to waiting for complaints.
A growing number of cities and states are considering—and passing—fair scheduling laws, which could help protect millions of workers from volatile scheduling practices that wreak havoc on families and create economic instability. The study released today points to the need to ensure adequate resources and staffing for enforcement of these laws in order to maximize their impact.
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Oct 06, 2016 Over 1 Million Workers to Receive Expanded Access to Paid Sick Days under New Federal Rule
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Feb 03, 2016 Don't be Fooled: Paid Sick Time Laws Don’t Cost Jobs
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Jan 29, 2016 The Business Benefits of Paid Sick Time
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Jan 29, 2016 The Healthy Families Act: A Detailed Review for Businesses
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | Jan 29, 2016 The Healthy Families Act: A Fact Sheet for Businesses
- Liz Ben-Ishai | Jun 22, 2017 San Francisco Leads on Fair Scheduling, But Better Enforcement Needed
- Jessica Gehr | Jun 16, 2017 Doubling Down: How Work Requirements in Public Benefit Programs Hurt Low-Wage Workers
- Zoe Ziliak Michel | May 26, 2017 Maryland Governor Vetoes Earned Sick Time Bill
- Liz Ben-Ishai | May 24, 2017 Trump Paid Family Leave Proposal is Part of Federal Budget’s Assault on Working Families
- Pronita Gupta | May 12, 2017 To Support Moms, Pass Family-Friendly Policies not False Promises