If you've worked in restaurants or in retail, there's a good chance you've had to put up with on-call scheduling and dwindling hours. They're a reality of our times, as companies run on predictions of their workforce needs and cut shifts at the last moment if they don't need you. Often, you're expected to commit to a schedule without any commitment from the employer that you'll actually work (and get paid for) the hours.
According to Fastcompany.com
, it's an issue that affects 1 of every 3 people in the US workforce. For young workers it's a pain, but for single parents of working-class families, it can be a serious struggle to make ends meet.
On the other hand, if you've ever owned or managed one of these businesses, you may have a different perspective. In today's highly competitive restaurant arena, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain good margins, and with climbing prices of raw materials, higher real-estate costs, and reduced customer spend, the last thing you want is to have to pay staff to sit around with nothing to do. In the old days, when margins were good, the loss of profit due to non-productive staff wasn't such an issue, but now it is a major concern.
Unsurprisingly, there's a war being fought as worker rights groups and business lobbying associations battle it out over who takes priority; the people who give the jobs or the people who do them. "Fair Workweek" laws, legislation that requires companies to provide schedules that are more predictable and compensate workers when they aren't has already passed in several cities, and in fact Chicago has even included hospital workers
However, most of the legislation only targets larger companies such as major fast food brands. Employees of smaller restaurants and stores will have to make do with their existing reality until national legislation is eventually passed.
There is another option too; employees who want extra shifts, and employers who have tight staffing needs, can take advantage of progressive staffing platforms such as Clockedin, which among other things, connects restaurants with workers from across the workforce. There's a shift waiting for you.