The National Retail Justice Alliance, in partnership with other stakeholders, hosted hearings this week in Oakland and Los Angeles with two members of Congress—Representatives Barbara Lee and Judy Chu—to highlight the social and economic plight of part-time workers in retail and other service industries.
The hearings also underscored the need for the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act of 2013 (H.R. 675), which builds upon the progress of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ensures that part-time workers (defined as working less than 30 hours a week) and their families have access to critical workplace benefits. The ACA penalizes employers who fail to provide health insurance to full-time workers, but includes no such penalties for employers who deny health coverage to part-time workers.
“Millions of Americans are only able to find part-time jobs, and too many of these jobs do not provide health insurance, family and medical leave, or pension plans,” said Representative Chu. That’s why the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act, which would extend benefits to part-time workers, is so critical. In today’s economy, we need to make sure that all hard-working Americans can afford to put food on the table and have a safety net to protect them and their families.”
In addition to Lee and Chu, state and local leaders, economic experts and part-time workers also spoke at the hearings which took place at the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland and East Los Angeles College.