The Effects of the Emeryville Fair Workweek Ordinance on the Daily Lives of Low-Wage Workers and their Families
Emeryville, CA’s Fair Workweek Ordinance (FWO) aimed to reduce service workers’ schedule unpredictability by requiring large retail and food service employers to provide advanced notice of schedules and to compensate workers for last-minute schedule changes. From a 1-in-6 sample of Emeryville retail and food service workers with young children (58 percent working in regulated businesses at baseline, the rest in the same industries in firms below the size cutoff for regulation), this study gathered daily reports of work schedule unpredictability and worker and family well-being over three waves before and after FWO implementation (N=6,059 observations). The FWO decreased working parents’ schedule unpredictability relative to those in similar jobs at unregulated establishments. The FWO also decreased parents’ days worked while increasing hours per work day, leaving total hours roughly unchanged. Finally, parent well-being improved, with significant declines in sleep difficulty.
This research received support from the California Wellness Foundation, the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy Pilot Fund, and the Population Dynamics Research Infrastructure Program award to the Duke Population Research Center (P2C HD065563) at Duke University by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Outstanding research assistance was provided by Laura Bellows, Sarah Harris and Ade Olayinka. Excellent project coordination was provided by Jennifer Copeland. Giovanna Merli and Candice Odgers provided helpful advice and support. Prior versions of this paper were presented at the Russell Sage Foundation, the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Research Conference, and the Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Elizabeth O. Ananat & Anna Gassman-Pines & John A. Fitz-Henley, 2022. "The Effects of the Emeryville Fair Workweek Ordinance on the Daily Lives of Low-Wage Workers and Their Families," RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, vol 8(5), pages 45-66.