CONTACT: IRLE Communications Director Penelope Whitney
BERKELEY, CA– A new research brief released today by the Shift Project at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) at the University of California, Berkeley includes first-ever data that provides a window into Connecticut workers’ lives. The majority of those surveyed experience schedule instability and unpredictability, which create hardship and stress for themselves and their families.
Entitled “Working in the Service Sector in Connecticut,” the research brief draws on survey data from 438 service sector workers throughout the state. It documents routine instability in work schedules in the retail and food sectors in Connecticut. For example:
- Two-thirds report irregular or variable work schedules
- Half report working consecutive closing/opening shifts (“clopenings”)
- Nearly half have no input into their work schedules.
As a result, almost three-quarters of workers say that that their work schedule sometimes, often or always causes extra stress. Another forty percent say their work schedule makes it hard to meet caregiving responsibilities.
“What we learned was that schedule instability and unpredictability is very widespread and that this creates significant hardship,” said co-author Kristen Harknett, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco. “The workers in Connecticut who we surveyed don’t like the uncertainty and want more stable scheduling.”
“Companies are increasingly under pressure to change these ‘just-in-time’ practices, and to give their employees more notice,” said co-author Daniel Schneider, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. “Connecticut is one of a growing number of states and cities that are considering ordinances to address schedule instability.” Oregon, Seattle, San Francisco and New York City have already passed measures.
To view the Shift Project brief, go to https://shift.berkeley.edu/publications/
Daniel Schneider, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kristen Harknett, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco.