NEW YORK – The New York state Attorney General’s Office has requested information from 13 major retail chains about “on-call” systems that require employees to be available to work on very short notice but with no guarantee they will actually receive the scheduled hours.
Among the companies receiving former enquiries from Attorney General Eric Schneiderman are Target Corp., Gap Inc, Sears Holdings and Burlington Coat Factory, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The practice usually requires an employee to check-in prior to his or her scheduled shift and receive instructions about whether or not to report for work.
In some cases, employers use software programs to plan their schedules according to daily and even hourly data on sales.
New York labor laws, the Journal noted, provide that an employee scheduled to work on a given day must be paid at least four hours at the minimum salary level even if he or she is sent home because business is slow.
An on-call system leaves “too little time to make arrangements for family needs, let alone to find an alternative source of income to compensate for the lost pay” if the employee is told not to come in, Schneiderman said in his letter to the retailers.