A coalition of labor-backed groups and a DFL lawmaker said Wednesday they want to curb erratic scheduling and last-minute scheduling by employers that they say make it difficult for working-class families to make child care arrangements and other accommodations to hold down hourly jobs.
Working America, an AFL-CIO community affiliate, and Rep. Rena Moran, DFL-St. Paul, said the legislation would require that employers give workers three-week notice of their work schedule, provide compensation if a shift is canceled within 24 hours. It would also give workers the option to refuse shifts with less than 11 hours rest between them.
Proponents of the measure said Tuesday that employers often rely on computer algorithms that analyze real-time sales data to determine worker schedules. It's a practice that Starbucks Corp. revised last summer after a New York Times story reported that many employees would be scheduled the close a coffee shop the night before and open the store the next morning, or "clopening" as some call it.
A University of Chicago study found that 41 percent of hourly workers nationally receive less than a week's notice of their work schedules, a trend that organizers said is also present in Minnesota, though no specific state data is immediately available.
Bobby Brown, an employee at a Bloomington McDonald's restaurant, called irregular scheduling unfair at a news conference Wednesday. He said sometimes he is sometimes scheduled to work from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. one day and report to work for another shift that same day that starts at 3 p.m.
"It kinda messes up my sleeping schedule," he said.
Moran, who said the bill will be introduced by Monday morning, said the bill would make scheduling more fair for families and others affected by irregular scheduling.
"Our public policies need to catch up," Moran said. Erratic schedules give Minnesotans "no real way to plan for the future," she said.