LaShay’s Story

Taking care of four kids requires effort and doesn't need to be complicated by unpredictable schedules.

Many of us wake up and begin journeys to get ourselves and our families to a better place. We work in order to give them the best lives we possibly can. LaShay James is someone who wants to give her family a better chance to thrive, but is coping with a system that is holding her back.

LaShay, a mother of four, begins every day at 3:30 am by making sure her kids have everything they need when they wake up. After an hour-long bus ride, she arrives at her workplace where she receives low wages and only about 14 hours a week. LaShay knows that her employer limits her hours because they don’t want to have to pay for employee benefits, but that’s just one of her hurdles.

On some days, LaShay’s employer will ask her to stay longer unexpectedly and though she needs the hours, prior commitment to her children conflicts with the chance to work more. With a little commitment on her employer’s end, LaShay could find out her schedule in advance, providing her an opportunity to help the company and to plan for a life with more financial stability. Unfortunately, her problem is a common situation across retail work and other shift work around the country.

“I can’t always find a babysitter at the last minute. But if I was scheduled [in advance], I’d be prepared.”

When employers don’t consider the lives of the people who work for them, they take away the worker’s best chances at growing. Everyone needs work to survive, but we all need work with stability, flexibility, and opportunities to excel. LaShay is just one of the many people in our communities, families, and our country who experience the inequity of an unpredictable schedule.

LaShay Speaks

Everyone deserves good jobs. Work should earn a living and build a future, not destroy workers’ health and families. Those who are without the opportunity for growth are falling short of the American dream. This is why LaShay’s greatest hope is to be able to take care of her family. With a little help from us all, we can raise our voices and stand with LaShay to push for predictable scheduling. Follow Workshift and support the fight for good jobs for all.

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National campaign dedicated to good jobs for all. Supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, Purpose & Center for Popular Democracy.