On Tuesday, six retailers agreed to stop the practice of on-call scheduling after they received inquiries about it from a group of state attorneys general. They join a growing number of retailers that have vowed to ditch on-call scheduling and give their employees more predictable hours. Aeropostale, Carter’s, David’s Tea, Disney, PacSun and Zumiez all said they would stop requiring workers to call in each morning to find out if they’ll be working that day, according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, one of the top prosecutors who made the inquiry. Four of those retailers ― Carter’s, David’s Tea, Disney and Zumiez ― have also agreed to set schedules at least one full week ahead of time so that workers can plan around them.
Total Retail’s Take: Once again the subject of store associates and how retailers are trying to make their jobs better is a topic of discussion. And like the minimum wage debate, the government is getting involved. Ending the practice of on-call scheduling helps retail workers better plan their days and weeks — many are working second jobs or in school — and should offer retailers some more stability when it comes to planning in-store staff assignments. However, the flip side to that is if someone is sick or can’t make their scheduled shift for some reason, retailers are left scrambling to fill the void — and possibly losing customers due to an understaffed store. The six retailers named above are joining a host of other retailers that have ended on-call scheduling, including Urban Outfitters, Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch.