March 28, 2018

SSS Front Cover

Joan C. Williams at the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings College of the Law, in partnership with Susan J. Lambert at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and Saravanan Kesavan at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, is pleased to announce the release of the Stable Scheduling Study.

The Stable Scheduling Study is the first randomized controlled experiment of a multi-component intervention designed to shift low-wage, hourly jobs towards more stable schedules. Contrary to the widely held assumption that schedule instability for employees is an inevitable outcome of the volatile retail business, the study demonstrates that giving employees more stability is not only possible, but it can increase sales and labor productivity, and offer a high return on investment.

The research team partnered with Gap, Inc. to implement an intervention across 28 stores (randomly assigned to treatment and control) in the San Francisco and Chicago metropolitan areas.

After rolling out two scheduling practices to all Gap stores in the U.S. and implementing five additional practices to the experiment’s treatment stores, here were the major findings:

  • Consistency, predictability, and worker input increased
  • Stable scheduling sharply increased median sales by 7%
  • Stable scheduling also significantly increased labor productivity by 5%
  • Fluctuating customer demand is not the primary source of instability

You can read the report here. You can also read coverage of the report in the New York Times here.


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