Part-Time Workers’ Schedules Becoming Too Unpredictable

The number of people working part time because they cannot find full-time jobs has doubled since 2007, from 4.3 million to 8.2 million, according to NPR.

“There has been a surge in part-time work,” said Aparna Mathur, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute.

This surge has been attributed to employers’ reluctance to hire full-time employees with the uncertainty of the economy in the wake of The Great Recession and the Affordable Care Act still looming.

“You want to maintain flexibility so you can respond to the economy without having to carry the costs of hiring and firing full-time employees,” said Mathur.

Unfortunately, as this all plays out, it is clear that the employees are the ones being most hurt by all of this. In addition to less pay, less hours and a loss of benefits, part-time workers are finding that without the steadying influence of a full-time workforce, employers often have to scramble to make sure all of the shifts are covered, which has led to part-time employees having increasingly inconsistent schedules.

“Workers can get called in at any time, and sometimes you only get a couple of hours notice before you have to start work,” said Michael Wilder, coordinator at Wisconsin Jobs Now, a union-supported group that advocates for low-wage workers. “That makes it harder to deal with child care, as well as with transportation, doctor appointments and so on.”

Amere Graham, an 18-year-old high school graduate who works at a McDonald’s in Milwaukee, added, “The chaotic scheduling also complicates any plans for attending college classes or taking a second job. It’s pretty much impossible to work two jobs or try to move up. [An employer’s inconsistent scheduling] is unfair because it entraps you.”

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Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob—Los Angeles employment lawyers