Poorest big US city endorses predictable work schedules

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The poorest big city in the United States has passed legislation that will ensure fast-food, retail and hospitality workers will know when they’ll work and how much they’ll work.

Philadelphia Councilwoman Helen Gym introduced and championed the measure approved Thursday. She says it will affect about 130,000 hourly workers in retail, food service and hospitality.

Workers say that without predictable schedules, they can’t budget or make plans like doctor’s appointments, and it keeps them in a cycle of poverty.

The bill includes provisions for advance notice of schedules, a path to more hours of work, compensation for last-minute schedule changes, and protections from retaliation.

Opponents say the measure will hurt growth and tourism.

Philadelphia is now the second-biggest U.S. city, after New York, to approve a scheduling law.

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