In Focus: On-Call Shifts on the Way Out?

By Allen Smith Nov 2, 2015

Urban Outfitters to End On-Call Shifts Nationwide

Urban Outfitters announced it will end on-call shifts for employees at all of its North American stores. According to a source close to the matter, Urban’s change had been in the works before the company received a letter from New York’s attorney general in the spring.

New York Questions Big Retailers Over On-Call Staffing

In the spring of 2015, New York’s attorney general sent letters to 13 national retailers, including Gap Inc., Target Corp. and JC Penney Co Inc., about on-call shifts in which workers are told whether to report to work a day or less before a scheduled shift. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said “on-call” shifts might violate New York law. The U.S. Labor Department reportedly is looking into the matter as well.

Gap Gets Rid of On-Call Shifts

Gap began phasing out on-call shifts this summer, stopping it completely by the end of September. The change will improve the scheduling process by giving workers 10 to 14 days’ notice as to when they’ll work.

On-Call Shift Scheduling Subject to Increased Scrutiny

Currently, no federal or state law expressly restricts or prohibits an employer’s use of on-call shifts as part of its scheduling practice. But plaintiffs’ lawyers, as well as state lawmakers and enforcement agencies, have been scrutinizing the practice with increasing frequency in recent months. Their purported concern is that on-call shifts may violate state reporting time pay laws.

Urban Outfitters (URBN) Stock Gains After Terminating On-Call Scheduling

Getting rid of on-call scheduling proved beneficial to Urban Outfitters, at least initially, with its stock rallying 4.68 percent on the news.
(The Street)

Allen Smith, J.D., is the manager of workplace law content for SHRM. Follow him @SHRMlegaleditor.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect