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LEGAL FORMS BLOG

April 20, 2015

Hourly Wage Investigation: 13 Stores Receiving Unwanted Attention

Filed under: Business Practices — Aric Mitchell @ 10:13 am

protecting your business' cash flowHourly wage earners are receiving more national attention today than ever before as pushes to drastically increase the minimum wage from its current levels are underway in multiple states across the country. Naturally, the more that people talk about the minimum wage, the more attention hourly earners in general will receive, and that is now happening at 13 major chains.

Gap, Target, Sears, Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Burlington Stores, Crocs, JC Penney, J. Crew Group, L Brands, TJX, Urban Outfitters, and Williams Sonoma, were all among the 13 stores now receiving some unwanted attention for how they schedule their hourly employees, CNN reports.

The investigation is being spearheaded by the New York State Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. These stores have been reported for allegedly using “on call shifts,” which means scheduling an employee with very little notice.

Employees usually find out if they are to work the night before a shift, sometimes with mere hours to plan. If the employee is told to stay home, they receive no earnings. These practices make it difficult for employees to plan family time, attain proper child care, and lead their lives with some degree of freedom and autonomy.

The purpose is to “manage staff levels so they have more people when it’s busy and fewer when its slow,” the news site notes.

If the employee shows up for the scheduled shift, they are to be paid for at least four hours regardless if they’re needed for that length of time.

Most of the companies that have issued statements have agreed to cooperate with the AG, and all cite something to the effect that the scheduling practice is to maintain stability for their staff while managing their stores more effectively during customer hours. 

Unfortunately, something else these practices do, is make employees feel devalued and raise the attention of legal bodies. Whenever you’re scheduling out an employee or team of employees, it is important to make sure your business has the people power to run smoothly and provide a good experience for customers. But try not to lose sight of the men and women and the lives they lead beyond the brick and mortar. Just something to think about to start your week!

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