Finally: Aeropostale, PacSun, & More End On-Call Shifts

Photo: Mark Lennihan/AP Photo
Just under the wire for many holiday retail workers, chains like Aeropostale and PacSun have agreed to end on-call shifts after an inquiry from the New York Attorney General’s office, USA Today reports. Specifically, Disney, David’s Tea, PacSun, Zumiez, and Carter’s will stop the method.

The news broke Tuesday, after the attorneys general of states like California, Maryland, and New York first criticized retailers back in April for employing the controversial practice. On-call shifts require employees to be prepared for a shift they may or not actually be working, with the knowledge that they could be called off at the last moment. This helps companies keep costs down, but labor rights supporters have pointed out that it's inconsiderate to the employees' personal time, especially when it comes to scheduling childcare.

A 2015 study from the Economic Policy Institute found that 10% of the U.S. workforce was subject to on-call or otherwise irregular work schedules, and that these irregular schedules were more common for low-income workers. With this new agreement, Disney, David's Tea, PacSun, Zumiez, and Carter's join retailers like Gap, J.Crew, and Victoria's Secret, which have all ended on-call shifts in the past few years.

"On-call shifts are not a business necessity and should be a thing of the past," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told USA Today. "People should not have to keep the day open, arrange for child care, and give up other opportunities without being compensated for their time."

State officials reported that Carter's, Disney, David's Tea, and Zumiez are even going the extra mile, committing to give employees their work schedule at least one week in advance of the start of week. Maybe's there's such a thing as a holiday miracle, after all.
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