Report: San Francisco labor regulations hurting workers

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San Francisco regulations pushed by union organizers to set employee schedules have hurt part-time workers the law was supposed to help, according to a new report.

San Francisco became the first city to pass legislation aimed at eliminating uncertainty in employee schedules in 2014. Under the law employers must give workers two weeks’ notice of their daily shifts. Employers must also compensate employees for shift cancellations by paying several hours of wages. They must pay a fine for any shift cancelled with fewer than seven days’ notice.

Economists from the University of Kentucky and Carnegie Mellon University found that the adoption of fixed schedules for part-time workers at large retail, outlet, and chain stores has hurt workers. The job pool for these workers, a large percentage of whom are students, has dwindled in the wake of the law’s passage. More than 20 percent of the businesses surveyed reported that they were offering fewer part-time jobs; nearly one in five said they had cut back on the number of workers per shift.

“To respond to these new requirements formula retailers are now less flexible with employees schedule changes (35 percent), offering fewer part-time positions (21 percent), scheduling fewer employees per shift (19 percent) and offering fewer jobs across the board (17 percent). As a group, retail clothing businesses are even more likely to be taking these steps,” the study says.

San Francisco has pioneered liberal employment regulations pushed by labor advocates. It was the first city to pass scheduling requirements and to adopt the $15 minimum wage pushed by political powerhouse Service Employees International Union. Employers reported that they have had a more difficult time coping with the scheduling requirements than the wage hike, which is more than double the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour.

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