Iwin Focuses on Low-Wage Hourly Workers

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 21, 2011) -Workplace Flexibility 2010 and the University of Kentucky Institute for Workplace Innovation (iwin) announce the forthcoming release of “Flexible Workplace Solutions for Low-Wage Hourly Workers: A Framework for a National Conversation,” an innovative report with new key findings on this issue, in March 2011.

The report brings a fresh perspective on the challenges of low-wage hourly workers in standard 9 to 5 jobs compared to workers with more nonstandard schedules, focusing on the implications of employer practices and public policy.

“Finding inventive scheduling solutions for low-wage hourly workers and their employers has big implications for the health, well-being and economic security of these individuals and their families, and for workforce stability in the businesses that employ them,” said iwin Executive Director and UK professor Jennifer Swanberg.

Swanberg and her colleagues at Workplace Flexibility 2010 will answer basic questions about the types of scheduling challenges that low-wage hourly workers face; provide a framework for thinking through next steps; and link these to the broader national dialogue on workplace flexibility. This report will be useful to employers, employees and unions who are thinking about how to provide greater flexibility to low-wage hourly workers, as well as advocates and policymakers who want to better understand the contours of this issue and policy solutions.

"The hallmark of flexibility for low-wage hourly workers is an employer's willingness to rethink traditional scheduling practices," said Liz Watson, legislative counsel for Workplace Flexibility 2010. "For some workers, this might mean reducing schedule rigidity by giving them more opportunities for meaningful input into their schedules without jeopardizing their jobs. For others, it might mean making scheduling practices more predictable and stable."

The report will be issued on the heels of a U.S. Department of Labor's "Challenges and Solutions for Hourly Workers," a forum held in Pasadena, Calif. on Feb. 17, which is also a part of DOL's "National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility."

"The need for workplace flexibility is not just an issue for some families, some communities or some industries. Rather, the mismatch between the needs of American workers and the structure of the American workplace is a problem for all of us," said Workplace Flexibility 2010 director Katie Corrigan. "By hosting this national dialogue, the Department of Labor drives home the point that flexibility – including flexible and predictable scheduling and paid time off – is a critical baseline for the health of our communities, families, and overall economy."


To follow workplace flexibility issues, visit, @Workflex2010, #worklifeprogress, #focusonflex.

For more information on Workplace Flexibility 2010, or to request an interview with Watson, Swanberg or Corrigan contact

MEDIA CONTACT: Erin Holaday Ziegler, (859) 257-1754, ext. 252;