D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large) sponsored a bill that would dictate the amount of advance notice some employers would have to give when scheduling workers’ shifts. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

The July 3 editorial “The scheduling snafu” contained a callous depiction of a bill to provide employees advance notice of their schedules as “cockamamie.” That showed an utter disconnect with the District’s hourly workers who prepare our food, stock our shelves and sweep our floors. “On demand” or “on call” scheduling wreaks havoc on workers’ lives; many describe having their hours reduced from 30 to 20 to 15 hours a week, too little work to feed their families, without enough notice to allow them to seek a second job.

The bill would require companies to post schedules 14 days in advance and would apply only to firms with more than 40 stores nationwide. Outlets of that size and sophistication can work out schedules in advance, and many enlightened companies already do, including Urban Outfitters, Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch, J.Crew and Victoria’s Secret. All ended on-call shifts because they understood their employees needed to plan for child care, doctor’s appointments and second jobs.

Yet the editorial board disparaged this fair and sensible proposal, which doesn’t require an outlay of money, as “just one more obligation layered on those who do business in the District.” How many of us who have the luxury of working in 9-to-5 jobs could cope with having our schedules — and earnings — vary from week to week?

Sally Greenberg, Washington

The writer is executive director of
the National Consumers League.