How Unpredictable Work Hours Turn Families Upside Down

工时不定 冲击美少数族裔家庭

Unpredictable schedules can be brutal for hourly workers, upending their lives. New research shows that African-Americans, Hispanics and other minorities — particularly women — are much more likely to be assigned irregular schedules, and that the harmful repercussions are felt not just by the workers but also their families.

纽时赏析/工时不定 冲击美少数族裔家庭

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对时薪工人来说,难以预测的工作时间表是残酷的,搞乱了他们的生活。最新研究显示,非裔、西语裔跟其他少数族裔美国人,特别是女性,分配到不规律时间表的机率远高于他人,而身受其害者除工人本人外,还有他们的家人。

The findings come from continuing surveys of 30,000 hourly workers by the Shift Project at the University of California. The researchers compared workers who earned the same wages, including at the same employers, but had different degrees of predictability in their schedules. Those with irregular hours fared worse — and so did their children.

这些发现来自加州大学持续调查3万名时薪工人的「轮班计画」,研究人员比较了薪资相同、但工作时间可预测性不同的工人,包括为同一雇主工作者。工时不规律者状况最差,他们的孩子亦然。

Black and Hispanic women had the worst schedules, and white men had the best, the researchers found. The children of workers with precarious schedules had worse behavior and more inconsistent child care than those whose parents had stable schedules.

研究人员发现,黑人和西语裔女性的时间表最差,白人男性的最好。跟父母有规律时间表的孩童相比,时间表变动大者的子女行为表现较差,托育情形也更不稳定。

“We’re talking about serious deprivation from relentlessly unstable paychecks,” said Daniel Schneider, a sociologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who works on the Shift Project with Kristen Harknett, a sociologist at the University of California, San Francisco.

柏克莱加州大学社会学家丹尼尔.施奈德说:「我们谈的是持续性不稳定工资造成的严重剥夺。」他跟旧金山加州大学的社会学家克里斯汀.哈奈特共同投人「轮班计画」的研究。

The Washington Center for Equitable Growth, a left-leaning policy group, published five papers based on data about various subsets of the 30,000 survey respondents who are part of the Shift Project.

左倾政策团体华盛顿平等成长中心日前发表了五篇论文,悉以取自前述3万名受访者各子群体的数据为基础。

Workers at all income levels are increasingly expected to be on call. At the high end, it can lead to overwork. At the low end, it means getting work schedules at the last minute, varying day to day, and not being guaranteed the number of hours that employees may need to support themselves.

各收入水平的工人都日益被期望能够随时待命,这在高收入端可能导致过劳,在低收入端则代表最后一分钟才拿到工作时间表,每天变动而且无法保证员工获得可维持生计的工时。

The researchers said the biggest reason for the scheduling differences by race was not because of factors like education or which jobs workers chose, but because managers gave worse shifts to employees who weren’t white.

研究人员说,时间表因种族而有差异,最大原因并非教育等因素,亦非工人所选择的工作,而是管理者把比较差的班次分给了非白人员工。

Workers of color were 30% more likely than white workers to have had a shift canceled in the last month, for example. They had more schedule instability even when they had the same education, age and other characteristics as white workers, and worked at the same companies.

例如,过去这一个月有色人种工人被取消班次的情况,比白人工人高出三成。即使他们与白人工人教育程度、年龄和其他特点都相同,并且在同一公司上班,他们的时间表还是比较不稳定。

“We think what’s left after parsing out all these other reasons is discrimination,” Schneider said.

施奈德说:「我们认为,在解析了所有其他原因后,剩下的就是歧视。」

Children of parents with precarious schedules were much more likely to exhibit anxiety, guilt or sadness than children of parents with stable schedules, according to survey results from 4,300 workers with children 15 and younger. They were also more likely to argue, destroy things and have tantrums.

针对4300名有15岁以下子女的工人所做调查显示,父母工作时间表不稳定的孩子,远比父母时间表稳定的孩子更容易表现出焦虑、内疚或悲伤。他们也更容易争论、破坏东西跟发脾气。

Perhaps the biggest stressor for parents with unpredictable schedules was finding child care. Formal, high-quality day cares don’t allow families to drop off children unplanned and rarely operate outside typical business hours.

对于那些时间表难以预测的父母来说,最大的压力源也许是找到托育服务。正式、高品质的日托服务并不接受家庭临时送托,且很少在非一般上班时间营业。

文/Claire Cain Miller 译/陈韦廷