Report: Irregular Work Scheduling Affects 17 Percent Of U.S. Workers

Unstable work schedules impact at least 17 percent of the U.S. workforce, with low-wage workers facing irregular shift times the most.

That's according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C. think tank. The report, "Irregular Work Scheduling and its Consequences," is based on General Social Survey data.

Ten percent of U.S. workers have "irregular and on-call work shift times," combined with another 7 percent "who work split or rotating shifts," according to the research.

Low-wage workers are among the most prone to having unstable schedules, which are associated with longer average hourly workweeks in some occupations. Employees in low-wage industries often have little control over their schedules, the findings showed.

According to the report, irregular scheduling is most common in the following industries: retail trade; finance, insurance, real estate; business, repair services; personal services; entertainment, recreation; and agriculture.

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GOP Illinois Congressmen Get Poor Grades On National Poverty Scorecard

For yet another year, Republican Illinois congressmen mostly earned poor marks on the annual poverty scorecard issued by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

In the 2014 national scorecard and accompanying report, Shriver Center staffers evaluated the voting record of nearly every U.S. senator and representative during the previous calendar year on legislation important to people living in poverty.

Scores were tabulated based on 20 votes taken in the House and seven in the Senate on legislation covering various topics including the budget, food and nutrition, health care, education and the workforce, to name a few.

The national poverty rate is 14.5 percent, with more than 45 million Americans living below the federal poverty level. At 14.7 percent, Illinois has the nation's 24th lowest poverty rate.

Although the Illinois Congressional Delegation as a whole averaged a "B" on poverty issues and earned the 16th best delegation ranking, the Shriver Center's report noted that Congress as a whole mostly failed to help poor Americans in 2014.

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A Look At The Morning Fight For 15 Protests In Chicago (VIDEO)

Workers fighting for higher wages and the right to unionize began a series of day-long rallies and speak-outs this morning in what organizers say will be the largest mobilization of low wage workers to date. Coordinated protests by the Fight for 15 movement and its allies are taking place in more than 200 cities in 30 countries with workers from multiple industries demanding a $15 an hour wage and better working conditions.

In Chicago, workers and their supporters rallied at numerous McDonald's locations across the city, beginning with an early morning demonstration that drew 200 at a South Side restaurant location at 8321 S. Ashland. The protests, led by fast food workers, have also drawn home care, child care and airport workers as well as college students, adjunct professors and Brink's armored car and armed security guards.

"I scrap and scrape and stress all day, every day," said Douglas Hunter, a 53-year-old maintenance worker at a McDonald's location on Chicago's West side. Hunter, who has a 16-year-old daughter, has participated in numerous strikes for more than a year. He said low wages contribute to the degradation of neighborhoods.

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Chicagoans Push Back Against Police Killings As Part Of National Protests (VIDEO)

Five people were arrested when Chicagoans took part in a nationwide anti-police brutality protest that snaked through downtown Chicago Tuesday.

Police arrested one adult male, two adult females along with the two female juveniles who are students from Kenwood High School on the city's South Side. Each of them were arrested for blocking traffic and misdemeanor charges are pending.

Chicago police news affairs would not provide further details on those arrested, including the ages or names of the two juveniles. The adults were discharged on I-bonds and the two juveniles have also been released from police custody. 

A heavy police bike presence thwarted attempts by the nearly 300 protesters to block evening rush hour traffic. During the five-hour demonstration, police used their bikes to cordon off protesters at street corners when the light was not in their favor to cross.

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LGBT Women Face Many Barriers To Economic Security, Report Finds

Lesbian, bisexual and transgender or LGBT adult women in America face unique obstacles to achieve basic economic security and are among the most likely to live in poverty, according to a recent report by the Center for American Progress and the Movement Advancement Project.

The report cites employment discrimination as well as barriers to health care and family supports as some of the key challenges threatening LGBT women and their economic well-being.

America's more than 5 million LGBT women are at increased risk for financial insecurity due to stigma, discrimination as well as anti-LGBT and outdated policies, according to the researchers.

"Even at a time when the public is showing increased understanding and acceptance of LGBT people and their relationships, the unique concerns and struggles of LGBT women are largely absent in the national conversation," said Laura Durso, director of the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. "Women who are LGBT have the same concerns as other women, but they face added challenges and worries -- not just because of their gender, but also because of who they are and whom they love."

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