The New York Attorney General is looking into the staffing practices of 13 big retailers, including Gap Inc., Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew Group, and Urban Outfitters. The office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote a letter inquiring about practices associated with on-call scheduling: a system that results in workers receiving last minute notice about cancelled shifts.
The letter argues that this process is not only unfair and stressful for families, but may be illegal. New York law requires that if you report for work, you will be paid for at least four hours of work at minimum wage.
Computerized systems like Kronos and Workplace Systems allows companies to track business and reduce staffing during sales lulls. Some employers are asked to check in by phone or email just a few hours before their scheduled shift to determine whether or not they are still needed. If their shift is cancelled, they receive no pay, despite having “reported” via phone or email.
Other retailers that received the letter were Target Corp., L Brands, Burlington Coat Factory, TJX Cos., Sears Holding Corp., Williams-Sonoma Inc., Crocs Inc., Ann Inc., and JC Penney Co.