In growing national trend, fair work week bill introduced in Philly council

Councilwoman Helen Gym tries to avoid unpredictable work hours.

Pat Loeb
June 14, 2018 - 7:29 am
Symphony Hurst wipes away a tear as she describes raising her daughter with a patchwork of part-time jobs.

Pat Loeb | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym plans to introduce legislation Thursday to improve conditions for part-time workers in the city. It would put Philadelphia in the vanguard of a growing national trend.

At an informational hearing in March, witnesses told council members that unpredictable work hours wreak havoc on individuals and families, from insufficient income to child care crises. Gym's legislation is an answer to that.

"It's a pretty simple bill," Gym said. "It pretty much just asks that we give common-sense advance notice of schedules [and] we help individuals who are at a 10-hour-a-week job not be so underemployed and have access to hours when those hours are being offered in the same job category."

Seven cities have adopted similar measures for "predictive scheduling" and a fair work week, but business leaders have been resistent. Gym says she's been meeting with businesses and will work with them over the summer on the bill.

"It's important to realize what's good for employees and families is actually good for business," she said.