Susan J. Lambert is associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, and co-director of the Employment Instability, Family Well-Being, and Social Policy Scholars Network (EINet). Lambert received a BA summa cum laude in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University, an MSW (Social Program Evaluation) and a PhD in Social Work and Social Science (Organizational Psychology) from the University of Michigan.
Lambert studies how employer practices shape the quality of low-level jobs, the lives of low-paid workers, and inequality in society. The sites for Lambert’s research span both production and non-production industries, including retail, hospitality, financial services, transportation, and manufacturing, and both publicly-held and family-owned firms. Her research includes comparative organizational case-studies and randomized workplace experiments as well as analyses of national data on the prevalence of precarious scheduling practices in today’s U.S. labor market. Lambert just completed a randomized experiment at Gap, Inc., in conjunction with Professor Joan Williams of the University of California Hastings School of Law. The experiment assesses the potential effects of an intervention designed to improve multiple dimensions of employees’ work schedules (schedule stability, predictability, control, and adequacy) on both business and employee outcomes. Her research is supported by grants from the Russell Sage Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Ford Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Center for Popular Democracy, and Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Lambert regularly advises policy advocates, labor groups, employers, and government officials on strategies to improve scheduling practices in hourly jobs.