Last week 46th Assembly Dsitrict Rep.Gary Hebl of Sun Prairie began circulating a state bill aimed at protecting Wisconsin workers from unfair scheduling practices.

The bill, LRB-4583, will help ensure consistent and reliable work schedules by requiring employers to consider employee requests to change their schedules and requires employers in certain occupations to provide schedules two weeks in advance.

Hebl said this will help workers plan ahead and make arrangements for some of the other responsibilities in their lives, such as child care or other jobs.

“I think right now most employers have good relationships with their employees and might be unaffected by this bill,” Hebl said. “But I wanted to take a proactive approach to ensure that the workers of this state have access to predictable, fair work schedules. If they can be sure of when they will be working, they will be better able to focus on other needs in their lives, like taking care of their family, their educational goals, or taking care of their own health, all without having to worry about constantly changing work schedules or fluctuating income.”

The bill is based on the “Schedules That Work Act” introduced in Congress by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

Their stated goal is to protect low-wage workers from unfair scheduling practices, such as scheduling workers for “on call” shifts (in which a worker does not know whether or not they will actually end up working), scheduling “split” shifts, and sending workers home early when the business is having a slow day.

They also want to make sure that employers don’t use scheduling as a way to harass or punish workers. Hebl said that the need to protect workers is why he adapted the federal bill for Wisconsin.

“Workers deserve protections from abusive scheduling practices that are meant to punish or harass,” Hebl continued. “Not only will this bill protect workers from these kinds of abuses, it will also ensure that these employees have more certainty about their income and their work schedules.”

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