Survey finds unpredictable work schedules are pervasive in Seattle’s service industry, particularly for women and people of color
Working Washington says businesses need to do a better job of giving out work schedules with more advance notice.
In a report released March 31, the union-funded advocacy group wrote, “Unpredictable, insecure schedules have become an emergency for thousands of Seattle workers who are denied the flexibility they need to plan time with their families, live balanced lives, and participate in their communities.”
Here are some key findings for Asian Pacific Islander (API) workers surveyed:
- All of the part-time API workers surveyed had their work weeks vary by eight hours or more — a week-to-week difference of a full-time work day.
- 50 percent of part-time API workers reported they were expected to have open availability.
- 58 percent of surveyed API workers get their schedules one week or less in advance.
The survey also found that women were almost twice as likely as men to get less than a week’s notice of their schedules.
Working Washington wrote, “You can’t live your life on a few day’s notice. You can’t make a budget if you can’t predict your paycheck because your hours change dramatically from one week to the next. And you can’t build a better future when you don’t have the flexibility to go back to school, get a second job, or start your own business.”
More than half of workers surveyed said they had worked “clopenings” (workers closing the store late at night and returning just a few hours later to reopen) and most said they experienced significant changes in the total number of hours they’re scheduled from week to week.
The report also found people of color are more likely to report wanting more hours than they’re scheduled for, and also more likely to say their work schedule interferes with their ability to find a second job.