Under pressure from NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, retailer Urban Outfitters will end “on-call scheduling” of retail clerks, starting in November. However, the practice will continue outside of NY State.
In a statement, AG Schneiderman notes that Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret have ended or are ending on-call scheduling in NY, ostensibly due to his office’s investigation into whether on-call scheduling violates state law.
On-call scheduling, which is common in the healthcare industry and for first responders, has also become popular with retailers who want more flexibility in scheduling personnel to match customer demand. Critics say, however, that the practice makes it difficult for workers — who are usually part-time — to work a second job, go to school, or plan their lives.
Now Gawker reports, and Fortune has confirmed that URBN, UO’s parent, asked salaried workers to come to its distribution center to help pick, pack and ship orders. Terming it a “team-building opportunity” (apparently trust falls are passé), the idea was quickly scrapped when URBN realized the request might violate labor laws.
In addition to Urban Outfitters, URBN also owns the Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, and Terrain brands.