by Laura Eberly, Community Organizer of YWCA San Francisco and Marin
Many of the young people served by our organizations hold part-time jobs, and there is growing public awareness that young people’s incomes are more likely to be essential to the household budget than just extra pocket money.
But too many are not getting the hours they need to make ends meet. New research from the UCLA Labor Center found up to 79% of young part-time workers in LA would take more hours if they could get them.
Being involuntarily part-time is a problem for young workers and especially for young women, who are disproportionately represented in two of the worst offending industries: restaurants and retail.
That’s why we are advocating for AB 5, a new bill that would help part-time workers gain access to more hours.
The Opportunity to Work Act, introduced by Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez, would require businesses to offer any new shifts that get added to their current, qualified part-time employees before hiring more workers. It will give workers access to more stable earnings and schedules, and better morale and employee retention save employers money in the long run too. For young workers, it is especially important to ensure they can get the hours they need while still juggling school and other activities.
Raising minimum wage has been a significant victory for low-wage workers, but it won’t put more money in people’s pockets if workers are kept part-time involuntarily. Please join us in asking your Assembly member to support this common sense fix on behalf of the young workers you serve and their families.