In a rare but swift policy change, Starbucks announced Thursday that it was ditching its software-driven employee scheduling practices in the wake of a New York Times
article that chronicled erratic hours in the service industry and something commonly known as "clopening."
In Wednesday's New York Times,
reporter Jodi Kantor introduced readers to Jannette Navarro, a 22-year-old single mother and Starbucks barista whose chaotic schedules send ripples throughout her personal life.The article instantly created a social media firestorm of other low wage earners sharing their own personal stories of terrible schedules, including the practice of asking workers to close a store late at night only to return a few hours later to reopen. It's known as "clopening."
Starbucks and many other employers use automated scheduling software to determine employee shifts. But quite often the schedules are erratic, at best.
But in an email Thursday to his 130,000 workers, Cliff Burrows, Starbucks president in charge of U.S. stores, wrote, "We must do all we can to deliver the best for our partners because they deserve our very best."
Burrows promises to allow more human input in scheduling, banishing "clopening," and posting job schedules at least one week in advance. Additionally, Starbucks said it would try to move workers who have more than an hour's commute to a more convenient location.
Asked by the Times
for her response, Navarro said she hoped other chains would follow suit so that "you can get your life more back in order. That way, you can make your kids proud."