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Macy’s ordered to restore commission to employees for in-store app sales

A union that represents 11,000 Macy’s employees nationwide has won its case against the department store retailer over the use of the “scan and pay” self-checkout feature on its mobile app that employees claimed cut it out of commissions. 

In the arbitration case, Macy’s was found to violated its bargaining agreement and the company was ordered to exclude departments, such as men’s suits and cosmetics, that pay employees commissions from the self-checkout. In its ruling on April 22, 2021, the independent arbitrator found that the scan and pay app, by no longer requiring customers to complete their purchases at a cash register, bypassed the traditional method of identifying employees who should receive commissions on each sale. As a result, the arbitrator found that the use of the Macy’s app denied workers the commission they would otherwise have received had the sale been completed at a cash register.

The grievance was filed by about 600 Macy’s employees at six stores in the Boston area and Rhode Island who are part of the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents 1.3 million workers in the retail and other frontline industries.  As part of the ruling, Macy’s must provide backpay that the employees at the six stores would have made on about $2,000 in total sales made through scan and pay.

“Today’s victory for Macy’s workers sends a powerful message to CEOs across the industry that companies cannot use mobile apps to force a backdoor pay cut on workers,” stated UFCW International president Marc Perrone.

Macy’s rolled out the self-checkout feature to all of its stores in 2018. The retailer took the feature offline for tech improvements in October and doesn’t have a timeline on when it will bring it back, reported CNBC.

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