Extant research has shown that employment cannot always protect low-income households from uncertainty and volatility, and in some ways may exacerbate it. This body of work has developed to help us understand the increasing precarity work overall, its underlying causes, and the consequences precarity and work hour insecurity for the well-being of workers and their families. Yet one particular, extreme form of work hour insecurity remains severely understudied—involuntary zero or near-zero work hours. This means that we have incomplete knowledge of the full extent of job precarity, particularly for low-wage U.S. workers. This research project begins to fill this gap by examining the prevalence, causes and consequences of zero and near-zero hour work schedules. If this work-related experience differentially affects and imposes stress on low income workers and other groups, it could be an important, understudied mechanism reproducing poverty and inequality.