DC Residents Need Fair Scheduling: A Personal Account

This past Wednesday, the DC Council on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs held the first public hearing on the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act. We asked Rasimani Diggs, an employee at Marshalls in Columbia Heights, to share her testimony on our blog:


My name is Rasimani Diggs and I’m here to support the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act. First I want to thank Councilmember Orange and the other Councilmembers who introduced and co-sponsored this important bill. I also want to thank all of the Councilmembers for talking about this very important problem with hours and scheduling. I’ve worked at Marshall’s in Columbia Heights for over two years and live in Kenilworth. It was not easy to request time off and lose hours for being here today.

It was an easy decision to come testify. It’s not easy for other workers in my position to take time off and I know a lot of them are scared to speak up about what’s happening to them. It’s important for me to be here because I’m speaking not only for other people who need these opportunities, but on my own behalf as well. I’ve worked hard enough that I want what I deserve.

Right now, life is hard. I was told I would get 20 hours a week when I started, but I almost never do. When they make the schedule, they don’t care about our availability. Even when I open my availability up or volunteer for overnight shifts, I still don’t get scheduled for hours I expected. I got a second job working with an aftercare program at J.O. Wilson, where I went to school. It hasn’t helped. They just cut me back to one or two days a week at Marshalls. Since I’ve started speaking out, my hours are very slim.

We don’t have a schedule really. They post a schedule a day or two before the week starts, but it can change at any time. I wish they even just had a digital schedule. They only post the schedule on paper in the store. I have to try to call in or take metro from Kenilworth on a day I don’t even work just to check my schedule and see if it’s changed. I can’t plan anything in my life. With a second job and trying to help my family, if my schedule changes, all of my plans have to change too.

It makes it difficult for me to take care of helping like I’d like to. Even though my sister is able to take care of herself and her daughter, I want to be able to pitch in. I also have my own career plans and dreams. I’m working at Marshalls because I want to work for a future, but my job holds me back from being able to pursue anything else.

If you pass this bill I could afford a sewing machine to pursue my business dreams. I would be able to have my own place and mobility. I could help out my mom and help my sister to look out for my niece. This would help with a lot of important things that I need in my life right now that I don’t have. It would make life a lot better for me and all of my co-workers.

I strongly support the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act and I’m asking for your support too. My co-workers and I talk about this every day and we’ll be watching closely. I just want to thank Councilmember Orange again for introducing this bill and all of you who have sponsored and supported the bill. Finally, I want to thank all of the Councilmembers for having this hearing. This is a very important issue and we need this change.

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