The Shift Project's survey examines how service industry workers are being protected from COVID by employers. The survey finds that about two-thirds of employees said cleaning in their workplaces had improved, but companies are still not doing enough to provide protective equipment such as masks and gloves.
In their op-ed, Kristen Harknett and Daniel Schneider outline service industry workers continued lack of adequate access to paid sick leave, despite the health risks posed by COVID. Despite national efforts to expand paid sick leave, such as through The Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), these have fallen short due to exemption, leaving individual states to enact orders.
According to The Shift Project's study, only 8% of workers can take off at least 14 days—the length of a recommended COVID-19 quarantine—and even fewer report being able to take more days. The report also notes how many employees report having to skip medical care due to affordability issues (27%), how many have faced hunger hardships (34%), and how many do not have $400 available for an emergency (45%).
Brookings outlines what "just-in-time" scheduling practices are, which groups they affect, across which industries, the consequences on personal and family life, and what is being done across cities, states, and companies create more fair scheduling.
Violet Moya, a Texas resident, describes her spontaneous firing from Sephora and how, from her point of view, the incident exemplifies that Sephora never really cared about employees like her. She describes herself as one of the hourly service sector workers that wanted more hours, but instead was given unstable schedules and few benefits.
The new Essential Workers Bill of Rights, proposed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), aims to protect frontline workers in the next COVID-19 relief package. The bill has support from various organizations including MoveOn, SEIU, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Color of Change, and the Sunrise Movement.