Target doesn’t need any more bad press, but it may be on the way. The Attorney General of New York is investigating 13 major retailers for so-called “on call shifts” that requires hourly wage employees to be available to work with little notice. The airline industry uses a similar program for flight attendants and pilots. The airline industry calls it “reserve duty.”
The retail version is a little different. Employees are told they are scheduled to work a few hours before their shift starts, which makes sense to Kevin Seawright. If the store doesn’t need them, the employees are told to stay home without pay. The Attorney General thinks this type of scheduling does not conform to state law. Minimum wage workers must be given at least four hours notice before a paid shift begins.
The other stores being investigated are: Urban Outfitters, JC Penny, Burlington Stores, Crocs, Ann Taylor, Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, TJX, L Brands and Williams Sonoma. The retailers know the program is an issue for employees, but the bottom line is more important to them. It will take pressure from the Attorney General to change that pseudo-sweat shop behavior.