Reposted from the Institute for Research on Poverty, released on December 20, 2013
Contact: Anna Haley-Lock, email@example.com, (608) 262-5766
MADISON—A century ago, low-wage, hourly workers faced long shifts and low hourly pay. Today, many of their counterparts face a new set of challenges: receiving too few work hours to guarantee adequate earnings and facing unpredictable, variable schedules. Many employers send workers home early, and dock their paycheck accordingly, when business is slow.
These are among the findings of researchers Anna Haley-Lock, a professor of social work at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Charlotte Alexander, a professor of legal studies at Georgia State University, who studied the problem of work hour insecurity among low-wage, hourly workers in the U.S. and current legal and other institutional responses to the problem.
They report that underwork, rather than overwork, is the norm for many low-wage jobholders in today's growing service sector, and that unstable and unpredictable work schedules are typical.
This is an about face from the 1930s, when overwork and underpay were the norm for low-wage workers, and Congress sought to enact a remedy in the Fair Labor...