This week in Homebase News we cover Mastercard’s new debit card for hourly workers, the impact of unpredictable scheduling, Chipotle’s free college tuition, and Kroger’s management overhaul. Read below to get the details on these stories involving local businesses and hourly workers.

Mastercard Partners with Startup to Pay Hourly Workers Faster

Mastercard teamed up with a fintech startup company to prevent millions of hourly workers from turning to payday lenders by getting them paid faster

The financial services corporation is partnering with Branch to bring a free, digital checking account and debit card to hourly workers across the country. Users of the card will be able to get instant advances against their paychecks at no cost. 

“Mastercard recognizes work is changing and many people don’t have salaried jobs that they stay at for long periods of time,” said Sherri Haymond, EVP of Digital Partnerships for Mastercard. “No matter how you choose to work, Mastercard wants to make sure you can get paid and have access to your income in a way that makes more sense.” 

The card will be available in November, and workers will be able to sign up straight from the Branch app. 

Study Reveals How Unpredictable Hours Impact Workers

An ongoing study found that minorities — particularly women — are scheduled irregular hours at a much higher rate, and the negative impact harms the families as well as the workers themselves. 

The research, conducted by the Shift Project at the University of California, compared workers on the same pay level who had differing degrees of schedule predictability. Researchers found that workers with more irregularity in their hours suffered more, and so did their children. 

Researchers added that black and hispanic women had the worst schedules and white men had the best. The children of those with unpredictable schedules had more behavior problems than those whose parents were on more stable schedules. 

“We’re talking about serious deprivation from relentlessly unstable paychecks,” University of California, Berkeley sociologist and study researcher Daniel Schneider said. 

Chipotle to Offer Free College Tuition to All Employees

Chipotle announced a new program that will pay the college tuition of any employee who has worked for 120 days or more. 

The restaurant chain said 100% of tuition costs will be covered for 75 business and technology degrees at five universities, including The University of Arizona, Bellevue University, Brandman University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Wilmington University. 

The program will kick off November 15 and is Chipotle’s latest effort to attract and retain employees in today’s competitive market. 

“Chipotle recognizes that financial barriers can be one of the biggest obstacles that impede our employees from achieving their fullest potential,” said Marissa Andrada, chief people officer at Chipotle in a statement. “We are proud to launch this opportunity for debt-free degrees by providing free tuition to help our employees excel in all areas in their lives, both in and out of Chipotle.”

Kroger Workers Worried After Management Overhaul Sparks ‘Chaos’

Kroger employees say they are worried about the future of the chain after hundreds of firings, demotions and transfers due to a management overhaul. 

Workers said some stores have been hit with fear, uncertainty and “chaos” after hundreds of managers, some of whom have been with Kroger for decades, were terminated from their positions. 

“This is a huge shock,” a fired store manager told Business Insider. “I’m the breadwinner of the family. Now I’m back on the street trying to figure out how I’m going to feed my family.”

Kroger said the goal of the firings was to have more resources to bring a better in-store experience to customers. 

“Like many industries, grocery retail is navigating through disruptive change,” a Kroger representative said. “These are not easy decisions, but we do believe they are necessary to ensure the Kroger family of companies can continue to deliver fresh, affordable food for customers, jobs with good benefits and growth opportunities, and our commitment to ending hunger in our communities.”