Warren and Schakowsky Unveil Part-Time Workers Bill of Rights

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Presidential hopeful Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) introduced the Part-Time Workers Bill of Rights this week. The bill includes a key component of many local and state secure scheduling laws: the access-to-hours provision, which requires companies to offer existing part-time workers more hours before hiring new employees or subcontractors to fill labor demand. The bill would also make more part-time workers eligible for paid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act and would ensure access to employers’ retirement plans.

The press release put out by Warren’s and Schakowsky’s offices cited “groundbreaking” research by The Shift Project, including a 2019 paper by Schneider and Harknett and recent working papers examining material hardships, race gaps, childcare challenges, and other issues associated with scheduling (summarized in our report, “It’s About Time: How Work Schedule Instability Matters for Workers, Families, and Racial Inequality”).

Sen. Warren was quoted saying, “For far too long, companies trying to boost their profits have taken advantage of part-time workers by assigning them unpredictable work schedules—creating real hardships for them. My legislation with Congresswoman Schakowsky puts an end to this practice by giving part-time workers the rights, stability, and other protections they deserve to build better financial futures for themselves and for their families.”

This bill complements another piece of legislation introduced by Sen. Warren and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) in October 2019, the Schedules That Work Act. The bill is intended to curtail work schedule instability and unpredictability by requiring employers to provide schedules two weeks in advance, compensate workers for last-minute changes to schedules, as well as provide additional compensation for those working split shifts and on-call shifts.