August 27, 2014
By Stephanie West
Washington DC – The prevalence of part-time work and unpredictable schedules continued to make headlines across the country last week. A piece on NY Times Upshot argued that part-time hours and the lower pay that often accompanies those unpredictable hours disproportionately affect women in the workforce.
Claire Cain Miller wrote, “With the rise in part-time workers who want to work full-time and scheduling software that forces workers to be on call all the time, getting a reasonable schedule is even harder.” She went on to write that parents especially need a predictable schedule and control over hours to handle childcare.
A Kansas City Star article highlighted the issues fast-food workers in particular face without knowing how many hours they will work in a given week or what shift they will be working from day to day. The piece featured the stories of 37-year-old Pizza Hut worker, Dana Wittman, whose haphazard schedule makes it tough to care for her three children, and Taco Bell worker Krystal McLemore, whose erratic schedule makes it impossible for her to take classes.
More and more working Americans are facing the issue of part-time hours and erratic scheduling, which, Diane Stafford writes, makes it “hard to juggle transportation, child care and personal appointments. It’s also almost impossible to get second part-time jobs to augment incomes.”
But there is good news: Stafford also highlighted how the support of community, labor and faith groups has “emboldened more employees to speak out” on these issues.