Grace Notes

Minneapolis survey finds several concerns with hourly schedules

A June survey by the community group Neighborhood Organizations for Change asked more than 500 Minneapolis workers about workforce issues, with interesting results.

In the survey, more than half of workers (55 percent) said they receive their work schedules a week or less in advance, and 17 percent said they found out their work schedule with less than 24 hours’ notice. Twenty-four percent said their unpredictable schedules made it difficult to go to school or find a second job, and more than 25 percent said their unpredictable schedules had a negative impact on their health since the schedule interfered with their sleep or created a source of stress. In addition, 68 percent said their work schedules change week to week.

Sick days were also an issue, with 60 percent of surveyors saying they received no paid sick time. One in three workers reported that they need to find their own replacement if they call in sick, and another 14 percent said it’s sometimes their responsibility to find a replacement. Ten percent of all hourly workers surveyed said that they had to quit a job either because they were too sick to come into work or because they had to stay home to take care of a family member. Service-sector workers were the most likely to come into work while sick, with 70 percent of food service workers and 72 percent of retail workers saying they had come to work while sick.

Half of survey respondents said that they had to work back-to-back shifts with less than 11 hours of rest in between, with 48 percent of these workers adding that they had less than seven hours between shifts. With the average commute lasting 31 minutes each way for hourly workers in Minneapolis, that doesn’t leave much time between shifts.

When it came to the number of hours worked, the majority of those surveyed (67 percent) reported that they would prefer to work more hours if possible, with food service employees voicing that desire the most (82 percent). Nearly 40 percent of workers surveyed were working part-time schedules, and 38 percent reported that they were sometimes sent home early from work, resulting in even fewer hours of pay.

According to NOC, 60 percent of Minnesotans employed in the formal economy are paid by the hour, while 41 percent of workers have no access to paid sick time.


Grace Webb

A former Editor of Connect Business Magazine