New Research: District’s Proposed Scheduling Law Would Reduce Job Flexibility and Opportunities

University of Kentucky, Carnegie Mellon-Affiliated Researchers Find Drawbacks for Part-Time Staff
  • Publication Date: March 2016

Washington D.C. — The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released new research today by Drs. Aaron Yelowitz of University of Kentucky and Lloyd Corder of CorCom Inc. and Carnegie-Mellon University evaluating Washington D.C.’s proposed Hours and Scheduling Stability Act.

Last year, the D.C. City Council began considering legislation that would require chain retail and restaurant employers to post work schedules at least three weeks in advance, and establish penalties of up to four hours of pay for schedule changes. D.C. would be the second city in the country to adopt such scheduling legislation after San Francisco did so last year.

Dr. Yelowitz used government data to create a profile of  the affected part-time workforce in D.C. Dr. Corder’s team spoke with 100 DC businesses that would be affected by the law.

Key findings from the analysis of Census Bureau data include:

  • Just one-in-seven (14 percent) of the affected employees are estimated to be working part-time involuntarily;
  • 27 percent are currently enrolled in school, compared to nine percent of the entire DC workforce;
  • 38 percent have a high school diploma or less, and 80 percent have less than a four-year college degree;
  • 85 percent are unmarried.

Key findings from the survey of 100 affected restaurant and retail businesses include:

  • 70 percent responded that the vast majority of their part-time staff were only seeking part-time work;
  • 73 percent responded that the law’s penalties and requirements would cause them to offer employees less flexibility to make schedule changes;
  • 52 percent responded that the law would likely cause them to offer fewer part-time positions.

View the full study here.

“Washington D.C.’s proposed scheduling law would reduce job flexibility for employees who chose their jobs specifically because of the flexibility,” said Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute. “DC lawmakers should pay attention to these results, lest they hurt the people they’re trying to help.”