With set opening and closing hours and fairly predictable staffing needs, employers could provide some stability if they wanted to. Some do -- witness Victoria's Secret. But even with the harm to worker morale and productivity, not to mention greater turnover, the business culture is moving ever more in the direction of autocratic management and unpredictable schedules.
Rarely, if ever, do we ask how those women without high wages, paid leave, affordable child care, or flexible schedules juggle their desperate need to earn money with caring for their family. But this is the big question that we all should be asking, because it turns out that there are real consequences for all of us.