State and local workforce development programs, including those under the recently passed Workforce Innovations and Opportunities Act (WIOA), offer employment and training services that help workers—especially low-income individuals and those with barriers to employment—improve their skills and succeed in the labor market. However, many participants in these programs are placed in low-wage, low-quality jobs, including those with no benefits, unfair scheduling practices.

Such low-quality jobs have high turnover, hurting workers and programs. When former workforce development program participants quickly leave jobs because of unsustainable scheduling practices, they lose wages, experience job dislocation, and churn back to the workforce system—leaving participants worse off and squandering limited government resources. In addition to the importance of fair work scheduling policies that apply more generally, workforce development programs can help to address these issues by incentivizing employers to offer fair work schedules.