Gap to end 'on-call' shifts for workers
(Reuters) - Apparel retailer Gap Inc (GPS.N: Quote) said it would end on-call shifts at all of its stores and improve scheduling policies to provide employees with at least 10-14 days' notice.
The decision follows an inquiry by New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman's office into the legality of on-call shifts at 13 retailers, including Gap, Target Corp (TGT.N: Quote), JC Penney Co Inc (JCP.N: Quote), Abercrombie & Fitch Co ANF.N and TJX Cos Inc (TJX.N: Quote).
On-call shifts require workers to be on call for shifts that may be canceled with little notice. The system allows retailers to adjust staffing based on store traffic forecasts made by scheduling software. Companies can then reduce over-staffing and under-staffing.
Each of Gap's five brands were aligned to phase out on-call shifts by the end of September and had committed to phase in the new schedules by early 2016, Gap spokeswoman Laura Wilkinson said in an email.
When Schneiderman began the inquiry in April he said on-call shifts might violate New York law which calls for employees to be paid for at least four hours at the basic minimum hourly wage for any scheduled shift they report for.
"I commend Gap for taking an important step to make their employees' schedules fairer and more predictable," Schneiderman said in a statement on Wednesday, which made no further comment on the findings of the inquiry. (on.ny.gov/1LBM75a)
Abercrombie & Fitch said this month that it would end the practice for all workers paid by the hour, while lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret, owned by L Brands Inc (LB.N: Quote) said in June it would end on-call shifts for workers.
(Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Andrew Hay)
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