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On-call scheduling comes under scrutiny in 8 more states


A controversial labor practice employed by some retailers is coming under increased scrutiny by U.S.regulators.

The attorneys general of eight U.S. states and Washington sent letters to 15 retailers, including Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters and Coach, seeking information about their "on-call” scheduling practices, Reuters reported. The other retailers receiving the letters included BCBG Max Azria, Carter's Inc, DavidsTea Inc, Forever 21, Ascena Retail Group, Pacific Sunwear of California, Payless ShoeSource, Tillys, Uniqlo, VF Corp's Van's and Zumiez Inc.

According to the letters, which are looking for information on payroll records, store work schedules, employee handbooks, and the degree to which store managers have autonomy to decide who works and when, on-call scheduling can result in an “unpredictable" work schedule that harms workers, the report said. The letters also said the practice 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 chains have abandoned the practice, Reuters said.

Eric Schneiderman, the attorney general of New York, sent a similar letter to 13 retailers last summer. Soon afterward Gap, Bath & Body Works, and Abercrombie & Fitch ended their on-call scheduling. And in August, Gap Inc. said it was moving to phase out the practice.

In the Reuters report, spokeswomen for Coach and Payless said their companies do not use on-call scheduling.
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