Not Enough Hours in the Day: Work Hour Insecurity and a New Approach to Wage and Hour Regulation

34 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2013 Last revised: 17 Dec 2013

Charlotte Alexander

Georgia State University - Risk Management & Insurance Department; Georgia State University College of Law

Anna Haley-Lock

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date Written: December 12, 2013

Abstract

When it was passed, the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act sought to address the “evils” of underpay and overwork by establishing a minimum wage and requiring premium overtime pay. However, today’s low-wage, hourly workers more often face underwork than overwork. In this paper, we examine the scope of the problem of work hour insecurity, particularly employers’ practice of sending workers home early from scheduled shifts. We assess tools for addressing the resulting income and scheduling instability, principally state “reporting pay” laws. We evaluate the laws’ capacity to promote work hour security, and consider paths for strengthening such protections in law.

Keywords: low-wage employment, employment policy, human resource management

JEL Classification: E24, J30, J38, K31

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Charlotte and Haley-Lock, Anna, Not Enough Hours in the Day: Work Hour Insecurity and a New Approach to Wage and Hour Regulation (December 12, 2013). Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-24. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2367070 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2367070

Charlotte Alexander (Contact Author)

Georgia State University - Risk Management & Insurance Department ( email )

35 Broad Street
Room 1142
Atlanta, GA 30303
United States

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

Anna Haley-Lock

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

United States
608-262-5766 (Phone)

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