Underwork, Work‐Hour Insecurity, and a New Approach to Wage and Hour Regulation

22 Pages Posted: 15 Sep 2015

See all articles by Charlotte Alexander

Charlotte Alexander

Georgia State University – Institute for Insight; Georgia State University College of Law

Anna Haley-Lock

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Date Written: October 2015

Abstract

When it was passed in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sought to address the “evils” of underpay and overwork by establishing an hourly minimum wage and requiring premium overtime pay. However, today's low‐wage, hourly workers more often face underwork than overwork, as well as fluctuating, unstable schedules, neither of which is addressed by the FLSA. This paper presents and assesses the effectiveness of an alternative approach to wage and hour regulation, the “reporting pay” guarantee. We begin by examining the problem of work‐hour insecurity, particularly employers’ practice of sending workers home early from scheduled shifts. We then move to a detailed assessment of state laws that require reporting pay, as well as reporting pay guarantees in union contracts and private‐employer practices that attempt to address the problem of work‐hour insecurity. We conclude by considering paths for strengthening such protections in law.

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Charlotte and Haley-Lock, Anna, Underwork, Work‐Hour Insecurity, and a New Approach to Wage and Hour Regulation (October 2015). Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Vol. 54, Issue 4, pp. 695-716, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2660537 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/irel.12111

Charlotte Alexander (Contact Author)

Georgia State University – Institute for Insight ( email )

Tower Place 200, Third Floor
3348 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326
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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