Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, D.C. Councilmembers introduced legislation that would usher in more predictable schedules and stable employment opportunities for people working in retail and restaurant chains in the District.
The Hours and Scheduling Stability Act, spearheaded by D.C. Jobs With Justice and introduced by Councilmember Vincent Orange, would require large retail and restaurant chains to provide their employees with advance notice of schedules, promote full-time work opportunities, end “on-call” schedules and ensure equal treatment for hourly employees. The bill was co-introduced by Councilmembers Mary Cheh, Brianne Nadeau and Elissa Silverman, and co-sponsored by Counclmembers Charles Allen, David Grasso, LaRuby May and Brandon Todd.
“I’m honored to introduce the Honors and Scheduling Stability Act today. One of the biggest issues employees face is too little predictability in their schedules, and face a tremendous challenge in earning enough to care for themselves and their families,” Councilmember Vincent Orange said during today’s hearing. “This legislation is needed to protect workers, and bills like this are being introduced across the country. Having a schedule you can count on leads to a better work environment and better opportunities for families.”
According to a recent two-part survey, 86 percent of D.C. residents said they would support legislation that would mandate stable hours and predictable work schedules from employers. Additionally, 87 percent of those surveyed said they would support rules that would require two weeks’ advance notice of work schedules, and 88 percent said they would support rules that would require large corporate chain stores and restaurants to first offer additional work hours to their part-time employees before hiring new employees.
“Our neighbors working in retail and fast food have been left behind in the booming development of our city. These are the folks who urgently need decent schedules to secure a stable income, be there for their families, and work their way up,” said Nikki Lewis, executive director of D.C. Jobs With Justice.
“Living off my check week to week is stressful, especially when you only get a few hours and you depend on Metro. I want to be able to help my family, but I’m barely able to get by myself,” said RasImani Diggs, a Ward 7 resident who works at a local/District department store.
Similar legislation was passed in San Francisco last year and is under consideration in Massachusetts, New York and California, as well as in Congress, to ensure more working people have schedules they can rely on and the hours needed to live a decent life.
To learn more about the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act, visit dcjusthours.org.