Project Overview

Research shows that unpredictable work schedules undermine the economic security, health, and well-being of workers and families. In response, municipalities have implemented fair workweek ordinances to improve the predictability, stability, and control over work hours and pay for millions of hourly wage employees. Yet little is known about how workers experience these laws, how their experiences vary by municipality, industry, and specific provisions in each law, and who is or isn’t covered by each law and how this varies by race, age, gender, education level, or parenting status.

This project will address these knowledge gaps by building evidence on employee experiences of fair workweek ordinances. Led by a research team at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice, the project team will gather data on employee experiences through an online survey of workers in retail, food service, hospitality, and warehousing in Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, and Seattle, four cities with fair workweek ordinances. This study will build on the team’s previous research of fair workweek ordinances that surveyed frontline managers in charge of implementing these policies. The project’s results will inform ongoing policy debates about the efficacy of fair workweek laws in strengthening workers’ economic security and well-being and whether they can be effective tools in creating more racial equity and economic mobility in the labor market.