Fair Schedules A Good Deal For Employees And This Small Business

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“Happy employees make happy customers,” says Sammy McDowell, Owner of Avenue Eatery in Minneapolis. But it’s hard for employees to be happy when they can’t plan their lives because their schedules are unpredictable.

That’s why McDowell uses fair scheduling for his five employees. When his employees know their schedule well in advance of their work hours, both his business and employees benefit.

“We have a preset schedule that allows everyone here to manage their lives a lot better, me included,” says McDowell.

“So once we know when everybody’s scheduled to work, everybody knows how much they’re going to make that week so they can plan out their lives, plan out their bills.”

Lobbying For A Change In Minneapolis Ordinances

Avenue Eatery is being held up as an example by activists lobbying for the Minneapolis City Council to pass an ordinance addressing fair scheduling. Neighborhoods Organizing For Change (NOC) along with the Minneapolis Works Coalition also want ordinances addressing earned sick and safe time, wage theft and a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour.

Avenue Eatery employees appreciate the flexibility a preset schedule gives them since they often have a second or third job.

There’s also the benefit of sleep. Rod Adams, a Neighborhoods Organizing For Change canvass worker, talked about jobs he has held in the past where he would have to work late and then come back early the next morning.

“I spent weeks deprived of sleep. Months even. And it made me irritable. It robbed me of basic joy in my life. And it made me so I couldn’t do the things I needed to do. And it reflected on everything from my schoolwork, it affected my GPA which affects what school I can go to next.”

The city council passed a resolution in April to draw up better labor ordinances. Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges says she backs requirements on scheduling and sick leave, and that she supports a higher minimum wage. However, she has not thrown her support behind the idea of a citywide wage hike to $15.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

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