Rep. Fiedler launches fight for Fair Workweek for all Pennsylvanians

HARRISBURG, May 1 – Flanked by a strong contingent of labor unions, lawmakers and advocates, state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila., today launched the fight to ensure reasonable and predictable work schedules for Pennsylvanians.

Fiedler is introducing legislation – Fair Workweek PA -- that would put Pennsylvania workers first, ensuring employees of large hospitality, food service, and retail companies receive two weeks’ notice of their work schedules and that these employees are compensated when their schedules are changed at the last minute. 

“This bill puts workers first,” Fiedler said. “Two weeks’ schedule notice is common sense. When people have predictable work schedules, they can schedule doctors’ appointments, child care and college classes. Workers with predictable schedules also can set a household budget and stick to it, confident that they’ll actually be paid the money they already budgeted for rent, groceries and child care.” Fiedler said, “Reducing workplace instability, preventing last-minute schedule changes, and adding predictability for hours and wages are reasonable things for workers to expect.”  

Fiedler said her bill would have a significant impact on the daily lives of Pennsylvanians and on challenges facing the commonwealth: helping to combat poverty and improve the health and economic stability of families.

Pennsylvania is one of the top 10 states with the highest rates of underemployment in the nation. Fiedler said her bill would help the state improve by reducing the involuntary part-time work that has become a hallmark of the retail, hospitality and food service industries.

There are also racial disparities evident in the current, harmful economic pattern, she said, as most people facing involuntary part-time work are people of color.

Fiedler announced the introduction of her legislation at a Capitol news conference. She was joined by Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale; Chris Naylor with UFCW 1776; and Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., in discussing the need for and merits of her legislation.

The bill is expected to be formally introduced in the next few days, in honor of International Workers Day, which is today.

(From L to R): Philadelphia AFL-CIO’s Danny Bauder, Rep. Fiedler, Pa. AFL-CIO’s Rick Bloomingdale,
Chris Naylor from United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1776.

A one-page fact sheet on the issue can be found here.