New Article: Charlotte Alexander, Anna Haley-Lock & Nantiya Ruan, Stabilizing Low-Wage Work, 50 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 1 (2015). Abstract below:
Low-wage, hourly-paid service workers are increasingly subject to employers’ “just-in-time” scheduling practices. In a just-in-time model, employers give workers little advance notice of their schedules, call workers in to work during non-scheduled times to meet unexpected customer demand, and send workers home early when business is slow. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the main guarantor of workers’ wage and hour rights, provides no remedy for the unpredictable work hours and income instability caused by employers’ last minute call-in and send-home practices. This Article examines two alternativesources of legal protection that have received little attention in the literature on low-wage work: provisions in unionized workers’ collective bargaining agreements that guarantee a minimum number of hours of pay when workers arecalled in to or sent home from work unexpectedly, and state laws that contain similar guaranteed-pay provisions. The Article concludes by assessing thesetools’ effectiveness in stabilizing low-wage work.