The Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network was formed to support low-wage workers and to help build asset-acquisition for Hoosiers. With that mission in mind, A&O Network Manager Kelsey Clayton gave testimony today before members of the Indiana General Assembly during a Pensions and Labor Committee meeting voicing concern about Senate Bill 20. This preemptive bill was introduced by Chairman Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville) and written, in part to prevent local governments and cities from creating regulations to limit just-in-time scheduling. The intent of SB 20 is to thwart attempts to require more reasonable scheduling practices for workers, many of who are part-time, low-wage earners.
Currently, there is no state solution to just-in-time scheduling, a common practice of employers posting schedules less than a week in advance and giving short-to-no notice in schedule changes. The practice hinders families' abilities to effectively balance family time and obligations, such as childcare, transportation, and continuing education. In 2015, Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) introduced SB 416, concerning an employee's right to scheduled employment. The bill was heard, but no action was taken.
The A&O Network conducted a survey in late 2014. The survey respondents were asked to mark the top three business practices that should be changed or expanded to help Hoosiers become financially stable. More than 37 percent identified flexibility and job scheduling as a high priority. This is likely because the typical age of low-wage workers has changed; more than half are between 35 and 64 years old. Indiana policies need to respond to this older and likely more educated workforce.
The A&O Network will track SB 20 and its progress. We will continue to voice concern on the issue and release updates as events warrant.