Today Working America and Take Action Minnesota Released Report on Low-Wage Worker Struggles

Poverty-Wage Jobs Report Reveals Data around Earned Sick Days, Wage Theft, Unfair Scheduling and More

Dec. 11, 2014, Working America and Take Action Minnesota announced the findings from a study called Hard Times Ahead: A Look at the Future of Work in Minnesota about working conditions low-wage workers in Minnesota face. The study includes detailed information on issues such as erratic scheduling, earned sick days, wage theft and more.

The report takes on a key issue Working America will focus on in the coming year: erratic and unfair scheduling. A growing number of workers have had to adapt to unstable hours and environments. Jobs that used to be full-time, salaried positions are now contingent, part-time and less reliable.

Working America member Ethel Buckingham explained: “…[M]y bosses have called me as few as two to three hours before my scheduled shift and told me not to bother coming into work. These are hours I depend on when I set my budget. This impacts my life as I try to pay my light bill, rent, and food for my family. I am also regularly asked rearrange my schedule to come into work on my days off. I usually work six days a week, but I am kept under 40 hours per week. During slower periods after the holidays I may only get eight to nine hours of work in a week, while keeping my schedule free to come into work throughout the week.”

The report will also take a look at earned sick days—one of many benefits that Minnesota workers lack, and the loss of middle-class jobs during the recession. TakeAction Minnesota will be focusing on earned sick days in the coming year. 

“This report compiles critical information we all need to be able to tackle the issues of the future of work in Minnesota head-on,” Halverson said. “The conversation will continue and grow as we call on our lawmakers, communities and businesses to band together to make meaningful changes to the conditions facing low-wage workers.”

Contacts:

Bree Halverson, Working America MN State Director, 612-803-3458

Greta Bergstrom, Take Action Minnesota, Communication Director, 651-336-6722