Sending Office: Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro
Sent By:


Request for Cosponsor(s)

Deadline:  Monday, June 5

Dear Colleague,

Today, juggling the dual demands of home and work is the norm for employees across the income spectrum. Yet, too few workplaces provide work schedules that allow their employees to succeed at both. Recent surveys indicate that the majority of workers in
many low-wage service sector jobs, such as food service and retail, have work hours—and thus incomes—that vary from week to week or month to month.[1] A survey of early-career employees found that 41 percent of
hourly workers get their schedules only a week or less in advance.[2] And nearly half of these workers say they do not have any input into their schedules.[3]

Just-in-time scheduling practices, such as assigning workers to call-in shifts and sending them home early without paying them for their scheduled shifts, are increasingly pervasive in some of our economy’s fastest-growing and lowest-paying jobs—including
retail, restaurant, janitorial and housekeeping jobs. When the timing and the amount of hours employees are scheduled to work change from week to week, it is nearly impossible to plan or budget. When workers have no say in their schedules it is difficult to
arrange child care, participate in children’s school activities, or get a leg up by going to school. Moreover, research shows that low wages and other work conditions that increase parents’ stress—including unstable and unpredictable work hours—can also undermine
children’s development.[4]

A report by Heather Boushey and Bridget Ansel issued in September of 2016 outlines the significant economic consequences of unpredictable work schedules for both employees and employers.[5] As the report notes,
unpredictable schedules cause workers’ incomes to vary significantly from week to week and month to month, and they also lead to significant turnover and absenteeism, reducing firms’ overall productivity.

To address this growing problem, we plan to reintroduce the Schedules That Work Act.

The Schedules That Work Act helps families balance their responsibilities at work and at home. Employees who work hard for a living should have some certainty about their work schedules. That is why for employees in retail, restaurant
and cleaning jobs—where difficult scheduling practices are especially well-documented—the legislation requires employers to provide schedules two weeks in advance. The legislation also provides a small amount of extra shift pay to these employees when their
schedules are changed abruptly or they are assigned to particularly difficult shifts—including split shifts and call-in shifts. And for hourly and salaried employees in all jobs, the legislation provides a process for requesting schedule changes without having
to fear retaliation for making a request.

There is a growing consensus that workers need workplace protections from the most abusive scheduling practices. Recent polling shows that seven in ten Americans believe that employers should provide two weeks’ advance notice of schedules to fast food and
retail employees.[6] In a recent focus group of working class parents in Ohio convened by the conservative Institute for Family Studies, all of the participants (most of whom voted for Trump)
expressed support for the Schedules That Work Act as a measure that would make a meaningful difference in their lives and “make[] bigger companies…show courtesy to their employees.”[7]

With the Schedules That Work Act, we can make the workplace better for workers, their families, and the businesses that employ them. The
Schedules That Work Act is already making a difference. In the last several years nearly a dozen states have considered similar legislation to curb abusive scheduling practices in low-wage jobs.[8]
During the 2015-2016 state legislative sessions, New Hampshire passed a state law giving employees the right to request flexible schedules, and fair scheduling legislation was introduced in Arizona, California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana,
Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island. The cities of Emeryville, Seattle, San Francisco, and San Jose have all passed fair scheduling ordinances within the last few years.[9]

We strongly encourage you to become an original cosponsor of this critical legislation. To add your name as a cosponsor of the
Schedules That Work Act or if you have questions about the legislation, please contact Elizabeth Albertine in Congresswoman DeLauro’s office at 5-3661 or Liz Watson with the Democratic Staff of the Education and the Workforce Committee at 5-6402.




Rosa DeLauro

Ranking Member

Labor, HHS, Education &

Related Agencies Subcommittee



Robert C. “Bobby” Scott

Ranking Member

Committee on Education and the Workforce





[1] Lambert, Susan, Precarious Work Schedules Among Early-Career Employees in the U.S.: A National Snapshot,
available at

[2] Lambert, Susan, Precarious Work Schedules Among Early-Career Employees in the U.S.: A National Snapshot,
available at

[3] Id.

[4] Set Up To Fail: When Low-Wage Work Jeopardizes Parents’ and Children’s Success, available at

[5] Heather Boushey and Bridget Ansel,
Working by the hour: The economic consequences of unpredictable scheduling practices,
available at

[6] Dutton, Sara. Poll: Who Can Get Ahead in the U.S.?, available at

[7] Amber and David Lapp, Work-Family Policy in Trump’s America: Insights from a Focus Group of Working-Class Millennial Parents in Ohio, available at

[8] National Women’s Law Center, Recently Introduced and Enacted State and Local Fair Scheduling Legislation,
available at

[9] Recently Enacted and Introduced State and Local Fair Scheduling Legislation,
available at

Related Legislative Issues
Selected legislative information: Family Issues, Labor

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