Used widely in the service sector, employers rely on scheduling software and measures of demand (such as floor traffic, sales volume, hotel registrations, or dinner reservations) to match workers’ hours to labor needs. In doing so, they often change posted schedules at the last minute even if it means sending workers home after they arrive for work or asking them to stay beyond the end of their shift.Such practices can wreak havoc in the lives of workers and their families, complicating child care arrangements, transportation, and eligibility for both employer-sponsored and government benefits. These conditions are challenging not only for parents but can create tremendous chaos and stress for children as well.
Part-time workers should be guaranteed a minimum number of hours when they are hired, whether it’s 15, 20, 25, 30 hours or something else. They should also be paid for a minimum number of hours if they report to work but are sent home.
If that sounds like another compliance headache for employers, you're right, it probably is. And herein lies the problem with capitalism and regulation. The private sector keeps complaining about too much regulation, and then invents new ways to hurt workers, consumers, investors, or the environment that demand a regulatory response.
The solution to too much red tape is a business sector that proactively embraces doing the right thing and regulates itself. One way to create such a sector is to raise the bar for corporate charters, demanding that publicly held companies serve multiple stakeholders, including their workers.