Header Image Mobile Header Image


07/15/2016 | Restoring a Fair Workweek

Scheduling Away Our Health: How Unpredictable Work Hours Affect Health and Well-being

    For many low-wage workers, every week looks different from the next. Receiving a work schedule with little advance notice, fluctuating shift times and working an inconsistent number of hours from week-to-week is the rule rather than the exception. These precarious work hours lead to income instability and make it difficult or impossible to arrange childcare, schooling, or a second job, or for a worker to manage his or her own serious medical condition.

    In this report we build on a body of evidence analyzing these scheduling practices, and pay special attention to the physical and mental health consequences for workers and their families. As momentum builds for fair workweek policies, the human costs are important to understand as policymakers weigh solutions. Through literature review, original data analysis, and focus groups, we find that the health and well-being of workers is undoubtedly compromised by unpredictable work schedules.