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A ‘Bill of Rights’ for San Francisco’s Retail Workers

In These Times, 8/5/2014

In April 2011, Jessy Lancaster, then 28, was hired as a part-time cashier for the discount clothing store Ross Dress for Less in San Francisco. At the time, the city’s hourly minimum wage was $9.92 an hour; in one of the most expensive areas of the country, Lancaster wanted to work as many hours as possible. Unfortunately, even making herself available six days out of the week—including Saturday and Sunday—wasn’t enough.

“It didn’t make a difference,” Lancaster says. Most weeks, she would be scheduled for 12 to 20 hours, despite telling a manager that she was willing and able to do more. “It was piecemeal,” she says. “I would usually work four to six hour shifts. Four hours here. Four hours there.”