San Francisco supervisor pushes legislation to give retail workers more predictable schedules

Career Associated Press

A San Francisco supervisor wants chain retail stores to give more predictable work schedules to their hourly employees, many of whom are struggling to juggle multiple jobs and family responsibilities.

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Supervisor David Chiu on Tuesday is expected to introduce legislation that would require managers at "formula retail stores" to post work schedules 14 days in advance and give workers extra pay for last-minute shift changes or cancellations, according to the San Francisco Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1xx6iJV ).

The proposal also would require employers to pay a set amount for unused on-call shifts and give part-time workers the same access to time-off requests and particular work schedules as full-time workers.

The legislation would be the first of its kind in the nation, according to the California Work & Family Coalition, one of the worker advocacy groups that helped craft the proposal.

The legislation is aimed at helping workers who are struggling with erratic schedules and unpredictable income as more employers use new technology to set schedules based on sales patterns.

Many low-wage workers work two or three part-time jobs and often have to give one up because of last-minute schedule changes at another, Chiu said.

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The legislation would apply to all formula retail stores that employ 20 or more workers. About 35,000 workers, about 5 percent of the city's workforce, would be affected.

Last year, Chiu, who is running for the California Assembly, successfully pushed for city legislation that requires employers to consider requests for flexible work schedules from employees who care for children, parents or other family members.

Supervisor Eric Mar has a separate piece of legislation, known as the Retail Workers Bills of Rights, aimed at helping part-time workers. Formula retail stores would be required to offer additional hours to part-time employees before hiring new workers, not discriminate against part-timers in pay and promotion, and pay employees for four hours if they're on call or if a shift is canceled with less than 24 hours' notice.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com