On Nov. 13, a writer asked for the definition of underemployment. What should you call the prevailing practice of offering people a job that only has two scheduled five-hour shifts a week, yet requires the employee to be available to work any shift, seven days a week without any additional compensation?
Is it fair to hire someone for only 10 hours a week, yet maintain a scheduling policy that precludes them from having two or more jobs in order to provide their basic needs? Many big-box retailers routinely have over 100 employees in a store, yet only a small number of the workers are full-time employees, with most of them only scheduled for 10 hours a week.
California’s reporting time pay law requires employers to compensate employees for half of their scheduled hours, up to a maximum of four hours, if their shift is canceled. I propose that employees required to be available for a shift receive one hour of pay for each 12-hour block of time they must commit to their employer, but are not called in to work.
Perhaps one of your investigative reporters would be interested in gathering facts regarding these unethical practices.
David Lance, Tulare