On November 8, 2016, voters in Youngstown, Ohio approved a measure to amend their city charter and provide a “Part-Time Workers’ Bill of Rights,” which will impose significant added requirements on employers of part-time workers throughout the city. City council in Cleveland, Ohio refused to add a similar measure to its ballot. Both “get out the vote” efforts were spearheaded by Grand Rapids, Michigan business owner Robert Goodrich. Passage in Youngstown may prove to be a testing ground for future measures elsewhere in the country.

The amendment will create a Part-Time Workers’ Rights Commission to be comprised of five individuals who will serve two-year, uncompensated terms. Two members shall be representatives of employers, two shall be representatives of part-time employees, and one member shall represent the general public, all of whom will be appointed by Youngstown City Council. The Commission shall have the power, authority, and duty to do such things as advise and consult with City Council on workplace policies and conditions, recommend additional legislation to affect part-time workers, employ a staff to carry out its duties, and receive complaints regarding violations of the Bill of Rights provisions and enforce its workplace requirements.

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