Retailers to drop on-call scheduling amid
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[December 20, 2016]
By Daniel Wiessner
(Reuters) - Six U.S. retailers will no
longer require hourly employees to check whether they are still needed
for work and risk having their scheduled shifts canceled with little
notice, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will announce on
Schneiderman and his counterparts in seven states, including California
and Illinois, have sent letters to a number of companies in the last
year requesting information about their scheduling practices.
But in the letters, state officials said workers can be harmed by
"unpredictable" schedules that can increase stress, strain family life
and make it harder to arrange child care or pursue an education.
The companies to end on-call scheduling are Aeropostale Inc <AROPQ.PK>,
Carter's Inc <CRI.N>, David's Tea Inc <DTEA.O>, Walt Disney Co <DIS.N>,
Pacific Sunwear of California Inc <PSUN.MU> and Zumiez Inc <ZUMZ.O>.
"People should not have to keep the day open, arrange for child care,
and give up other opportunities without being compensated for their
time," Schneiderman said in a statement ahead of the announcement,
noting an estimated 50,000 U.S. workers will benefit from the
The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The letters to the companies also said on-call scheduling may violate
state labor laws requiring workers to be paid for at least part of a day
even if they are told to stay home, and is not a "business necessity"
given that some retailers had already abandoned the practice.
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A customer enters an Aeropostale store in Broomfield, Colorado,
United States May 14, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
Since last year, Abercrombie & Fitch Co, Gap Inc, Pier 1 Imports
Inc, and L Brands Inc, the parent of Bath & Body Works and
Victoria's Secret Stores LLC, among other companies, have said they
would stop using on-call scheduling.
A federal appeals court in San Francisco in October heard a case in
which Victoria's Secret is accused of violating California law by
not paying workers whose shifts were canceled with little notice.
The case, in which the workers appealed the dismissal of their
lawsuit, has yet to be decided.
Schneiderman's office said most companies that have stopped using
on-call scheduling replaced it with a "pooling arrangement" to
ensure adequate staffing.
(Reporting by Daniel Wiessner in Albany, New York; Editing by Alexia
Garamfalvi and Alan Crosby)
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