A recent investigation by the New York Attorney General’s Office has called into question the practice of “on-call” or “call-in” shift scheduling, used by many nationwide retailers. When a retailer utilizes call-in shift scheduling, employees are typically required to hold their schedules open for shifts for which they may or may not be asked to work. This type of scheduling has become extremely common, which prompted the New York Attorney General’s labor bureau to send letters to 13 retailers that it believes may not have compensated workers for call-in shifts. Burlington Coat Factory was among the companies targeted in the investigation. If you work, or have worked, for Burlington Coat Factory, and have been scheduled for call-in shifts without getting paid for your time, please contact us at 817-455-6822 or through the form on this page.
Burlington Coat Factory is a leading off-price apparel and home product retailer. The company started in 1924 as a wholesaler of ladies coats. Today, Burlington Coat Factory operates 544 stores in 44 states and Puerto Rico, and has over 28,000 employees. As stated above, Burlington Coat Factory is reported to be one of many nationwide retail chains that employ call-in shift scheduling to staff its sales floors. This type of scheduling allows retailers to minimize labor costs, but comes with a huge price to employees who receive no guarantee of work or pay.
Legality of Call-In Shifts Questionable
It has been reported that typically, when a retail worker’s shift takes the form of “call-in” work, the company keeps the employee on the hook up until the time of the shift. Workers are unable to take other paid work or take classes during the scheduled call-in shift because they must remain available in the event that they are needed at the store. Further, it is believed that many retailers do not pay employees when shifts are canceled.
Victoria’s Secret was recently sued in California for scheduling call-in shifts. The lawsuit claims in part that companies that require workers to be available on-call should pay them if their shifts are canceled. Many states, including New York and California, have laws that require employers to pay hourly staff when they report to work and their shift is canceled; it is believed that the same protection should be extended when workers are scheduled on-call.
Additionally, some chains reportedly have strict attendance policies that accompany call-in shift scheduling. Allegedly, employees who miss making a call in the required time frame prior to a shift, or who do call but cannot make it to work on time, can receive the same punishment as someone who skips a regularly scheduled shift.
“Call-in” shift scheduling has proved detrimental to retail workers in the current economy. Many people work several part-time jobs, and are not able to schedule shifts when they are already on-call. The lack of stability that comes with call-in shifts has become an unhappy reality of retail employment, but despite the unfairness and uncertainty most low-wage workers can’t walk away from companies that schedule this way.
Please Contact Us
Lawyers are currently researching class action claims against Burlington Coat Factory stores, which are believed to have scheduled “call-in” shifts without paying employees. If you work, or have worked, for Burlington Coat Factory, and have been scheduled for call-in shifts without getting paid, please contact us at 817-455-6822 or through the form on this page.
Contact our attorneys if you have any questions or concerns regarding this investigation.