Boost Benefits for U.S. Hourly Workers

Target: Alex Acosta, U.S. Secretary of Labor

Goal: Give America’s non-salaried workers paid leave and other common employee benefits.

“I had inadvertently created classes of employees…employees who work at hourly rates are an afterthought.” While hourly employees make up a bulk of the workforce in businesses across America, from warehouses to customer service, these workers indeed do not often receive the same consideration as salaried workers. The CEO of online clothing rental business Rent the Runway saw this disparity and took proactive steps to equalize employment benefits for all the company’s workers.

The new guidelines–which company co-founder Jennifer Hyman says received overwhelming support from her corporate board–will provide hourly employees the same paid leave, vacation, and work-from-home opportunities as employees receiving a salary. Hyman believes these changes will not just benefit employees by providing them needed time off for unexpected happenings or for rejuvenation; it will likewise boost her company’s future by lessening turnover and attracting an energized, productive, and top-tier workforce.

Unfortunately, most companies – under no obligation from federal or state mandate – continue to treat hourly workers as second-class. For example, estimates claim less than 15 percent of civilian workers receive paid family leave, up to 25 percent of new mothers must return to work after barely a week, and many on-site daycare offerings are not available to the hourly workforce.

Sign this petition to urge the nation’s leading labor department advocate for equal opportunity for all American workers.


Dear Secretary Acosta,

The loss of a family member, the unexpected medical crisis, the birth of a child, the trip of a lifetime…major life moments do not often wait for schedules or convenience. Yet millions of workers everyday must make hard choices between life, family, and work obligations. For these hourly employees that represent every sector of America, fair and equal treatment is a seemingly unachievable aspiration.

Some forward-thinking organizations – like Starbucks, Walgreens, and most recently clothing rental retailer Rent the Runway – have seen promise and opportunity in equalizing their workforce. These companies acknowledge their previous unfair caste-like employment system that favored salaried workers, and they have subsequently pledged to provide equal benefits to hourly workers. Now, warehouse, customer service, and other non-salaried employees within these companies will have access to paid leave and other valued benefits.

Any cost concerns, these companies feel, will be offset by more highly skilled, satisfied, and productive workers who have incentive to remain trusted long-term employees for businesses that value them. Please track the success of these revolutionary endeavors and consider how they might have a place in enhanced benefits and protections for hourly employees nationwide.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Joe Klamar

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One Comment

  1. gen agustsson says:

    corporate is poverty?

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