In announcing it’s raising wages for its lowest-paid workers, Wal-Mart also said it’s offering some employees better scheduling at a time when more retailers are relying on “just-in-time scheduling.”
Scheduling employees for partial shifts, only when needed, saves employers money. But for workers, it’s a huge problem, says Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
“Having their hours be different from one week to the next, from one day to the next, can be very difficult, particularly for working parents who need child-care for their kids at different hours of the day every week,” she says.
Barry Eidlin, a sociologist at the Rutgers School of Management, says Wal-Mart’s not the only company that’s been criticized for scheduling employees this way. Now, he says, other retailers might follow suit in restoring set schedules.
“If people follow them in one direction, they might follow them back in the other direction,” he says.
After all, Eidlin says, they are all competing for the same group of employees.
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