A bill will soon be introduced in the House and Senate that would give part-time workers access to retirement plans offered to a company's full-time employees.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a presidential candidate and member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., announced plans Tuesday to introduce the Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act, which aims to strengthen protections for part-time workers and allow them to better balance their work schedules with personal and family needs, according to a news release.
Among its provisions, the legislation would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to give part-time workers who have worked at least 500 hours for two consecutive years access to retirement plans if they are offered by their employers to full-time workers, according to a fact sheet about the proposed legislation.
"For far too long, companies trying to boost their profits have taken advantage of part-time workers by assigning them unpredictable work schedules — creating real hardships for them," Ms. Warren said in the news release. "My legislation with Congresswoman Schakowsky puts an end to this practice by giving part-time workers the rights, stability, and other protections they deserve to build better financial futures for themselves and for their families."
The legislation would also require employers with more than 500 workers to offer available hours to current, available, qualified part-time employees before hiring new employees or subcontractors and make more part-time employees eligible for family and medical leave, according to the fact sheet.
The two lawmakers will formally introduce the bill in the House and Senate in January, said Miguel Ayala, communications director for Ms. Schakowsky, in an email.