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By Martha C. White
July 13, 2016
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

A startup app could make life easier for millions of shift workers with irregular schedules, if the coffee shops, retail stores and fast-food restaurants where many of these people are employed get on board.

Called Shyft, the app gives people who want to get rid of a shift and ones who are looking for extra hours a forum where they can make their schedules work for them. It’s quicker and easier than asking individual co-workers one at a time, and it can connect workers who might live in the same general area but work at different stores.

The other advantage is that workers who need a certain number of hours to qualify for benefits like healthcare or tuition assistance can use Shyft to find extra shifts — but that’s something that service-industry companies, some of which have been accused of juggling workers’ hours specifically to keep them under those thresholds, might not be thrilled about. The app does have a feature that lets a manager approve or turn down a shift switch, and it plans to add a feature that will let people post requests for additional hours, Bloomberg said.

Shyft claims a user base that includes 12,000 Starbucks workers in the U.S., more than 7,500 McDonald’s employees and more than 3,500 at Gap discount brand Old Navy, according to Bloomberg, which also said some employers are on board with the idea, so much so that they’re giving workers wide latitude to figure their hours out among themselves, saying, “Some managers are posting entire schedules on Shyft and letting workers chose the shifts that work best for them or lining up extra hands.”

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

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Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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