(Adds comments from companies, Jobs With Justice)
By Daniel Wiessner
Dec 20 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 said 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
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
The companies to end on-call scheduling are Aeropostale Inc
, Carter's Inc, David's Tea Inc, Walt
Disney Co, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc
and Zumiez Inc.
"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,
noting an estimated 50,000 U.S. workers will benefit from the
Carter's confirmed the agreement and declined further
comment. David's Tea, a representative said, has always complied
with state scheduling laws and is ending its use of on-call
scheduling "in the spirit of cooperation."
The other companies did not 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.
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
Elizabeth Falcon, an organizer with the union-backed group
Jobs With Justice, which is pushing proposals to ban on-call
scheduling, said the agreements showed retailers have the means
to provide workers with more predictable schedules.
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
Alan Crosby and Bill Trott)