The CWA News | Fighting for Workplace Scheduling Rights Legislation

Volume 74, Issue #4 | Winter 2014

Two champions of working families, Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), introduced a bill to help working families better balance their work lives and their family responsibilities. The “Schedules that Work” Act establishes federal guidelines to make sure that employers provide fair, flexible and reliable schedules for workers.

“This bill is all about people and fairness. It includes a ‘circuit breaker’ for collective bargaining, so that unions can continue to improve on working conditions,” Miller said. “It’s a way to ensure that workers can earn a decent living and meet family responsibilities,” he said.

In a number of CWA sectors, like passenger service agents, workers can swap shifts in order to make a child’s doctor appointment or meet some other obligation.  But in many non-union workplaces, like T-Mobile, for example, swapping is banned.

The bill also will:

  • Give employees the right to request more flexible or more predictable schedules, more or fewer work hours and ask for minimal fluctuations in scheduling.
  • Give employees with specific needs, like child care, elder care or health conditions, more protections.
  • Protect workers from retaliation: Employers would be prohibited from punishing workers for their work requests.
  • Require at least four hours of reporting pay for workers who are called in to work, then sent home or put on call without pay.
  • Require at least one hour of call-in pay for employees who are required to call in less than 24 hours before a shift and are not allowed to work for at least four hours.
  • Require split-shift pay for workers who are required to work nonconsecutive hours.
  • Require employers to provide advance information about hours and scheduling and to notify workers in advance of changes. Short-notice changes would require additional pay.