Government

City Voters Pass Part-Time Workers Bill of Rights

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – City voters approved a charter amendment that would govern how companies schedule and pay part-time employees. The margin was 56% of voters in favor of the amendment, 44% against.

The Part-Time Bill of Rights charter amendment was drafted by Michigan businessman Robert Goodrich, who also obtained sufficient signatures to put it on Cleveland’s ballot, where it also passed Tuesday.

It’s unclear how the city would would proceed to monitor its requirements or whether the charter amendment vote would survive legal challenges. Part-time workers are defined in the measure as anyone working less than 40 hours.

The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber opposed passage of the charter amendment. Said the chamber’s CEO, Tom Humphries, during the campaign: “We have heard from industry groups representing organizations from restaurants to hospitals about how detrimental this would be for business in the city.”

Among its provisions is establishing a commission, funded by taxpayers, to monitor enforcement. Other components include:

    • An employer would have to provide its part-time employees who request it, at least two weeks’ notice of their work schedules.
    • An employer would not be able to require a part-time employee to be on-call, except for one mutually agreed-to shift per week. Either party could cancel that shift at least 48 hours before the shift is to start.
    • Employers would provide part-time employees with the same starting hourly wage as that provided to starting full-time employees who hold jobs that require equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions.
    • Employers would provide part-time employees with proportional access to employer-provided paid and unpaid time off, including sick leave, personal leave and vacation leave.

Employers would provide part-time employees with the same pro-rated eligibility for other benefits afforded to full-time employees for the same job classification.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.