Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is vowing to tackle uncertain work schedules if she makes it into the Oval Office, unveiling a big government plan to require companies employing 15 people or more of posting schedules two weeks in advance as part of her effort to champion workers under her “Fair Workweek” proposal.
Warren, much like her ideological counterpart Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has tried to establish her campaign as a pro-worker movement. Her latest proposal advances that narrative. The presidential hopeful wants a requirement that would have companies employing over 15 people of releasing work schedules “at least” two weeks in advance as part of her “Fair Workweek” plan.
“Many employers – especially in the retail and service industries – have adopted ‘just in time’ scheduling practices that use algorithms to assign workers hours in real time,” Warren wrote in a Medium post detailing her plan.
“As a result, millions of workers face work schedules that can change dramatically week-to-week or day-to-day,” she continued.
“Employees in the retail, food service, cleaning, hospitality, and warehouse industries will get their work schedules at least two weeks in advance so that they can plan their lives,” she added.
The proposal largely channels the Schedules that Work Act, which Warren introduced to Congress. The “Fair Workweek” plan essentially expands the government’s role in an effort to “ensure a right to rest between shifts” and require employers with over 500 employees to “ask their workers how many hours they want to work and when they’re available – and offer additional work to qualified existing part-time workers before hiring new workers or contractors.”
Her plan also removes a good portion of what she calls the “perverse incentive” for companies to make workers part-time employees instead of full time:
Companies strategically resist making their workers full-time to avoid paying for benefits. My plan removes much of this perverse incentive. Workers who have worked for their employer for at least 12 months will have access to Family Medical Leave Act leave and protection, regardless of whether they are part time or full time. Workers who work at least 500 hours for two consecutive years will also have access to employee retirement plans.
Ultimately, Warren suggests her plan will empower workers and give them more say over their schedules, citing a study showing that the majority, 80 percent, of retail and food service employees have “little to no input into their schedules.”
“Unpredictable work schedules are leaving too many part-time workers with no control over their time and not enough hours to make ends meet,” Warren wrote on Twitter announcing the rollout of her plan.
“My Fair Workweek Plan will put power in the hands of part-time workers and help them control their schedules,” she added:
Unpredictable work schedules are leaving too many part-time workers with no control over their time and not enough hours to make ends meet. My Fair Workweek Plan will put power in the hands of part-time workers and help them control their schedules. https://t.co/z15jWSK8OQ
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 3, 2019