For nearly three years, David Smith’s retail job provided a stable enough income for him to pay rent, child support and feed his family.

But when his 40 hours per week were unexpectedly cut down to 24 hours, things started to fall apart, he said.

“I’m facing eviction,” he told NBC10. “I’ve been in retail for 15 years. This, by far, was the worse I have ever dealt with.”

Smith, who is 50 years old, is just one of 130,000 service workers in Philadelphia, at least a quarter of which work part-time, according to the 2015 U.S. Census. Many of these retail and service industry employees face unpredictable schedules that change as often as the seasons.

On Thursday, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Helen Gym introduced legislation to curb some of this uncertainty. The fair workweek ordinance would require a reasonable notice of schedules, at least 11 hours rest time between shifts, opportunities to work additional hours and provide for enforcement and penalties if an employer does not comply.

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