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Unpredictable schedules and overworking leads to stress

Employees residing in California should be aware of examples of wage and hour disputes, which are especially common around Christmas. The push to get holiday shopping done in time results in employers pushing retail workers harder than ever to meet demand. Employees who complain or refuse to comply with their packed schedules may face retaliation. This leaves many employees feeling hopeless and choosing to not put up a fight, afraid their hours will be cut in response to their complaints. Some employees are even fired.

Scheduling problems include denial of time off, split shifts that force unpaid hours on workers and being let go early when they're not needed even though they were counting on the hours. Young workers are the most likely to deal with unreasonable schedules, likely because they are in no position to refuse. For example, research from the University of Chicago shows that nearly 40 percent of young workers are not given adequate notice of their work schedules, and the rates are even worse among part-time workers as well as people of color. Outside of young workers, nearly one in five experiences similarly unstable work hours. Overall, women and people of color are the most likely to be subjected to these abuses by their employers.

This unpredictable scheduling can make it difficult for workers to do everything from scheduling appointments to finding child care. Unpredictable scheduling also makes it difficult for workers to seek higher education as their schedules might overlap with classes. As a result, workers who face these scheduling problems are the most likely to suffer stress and health problems.

Navigating issues with employment law may be easier with help from an attorney who has experience in wage and hour claims. A lawyer may be able to prove that a client's workplace is not following legal standards of employee care. In the event of wrongful termination, for example, an attorney may be able to argue that the employee was held to unreasonable standards of availability.

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