retail news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Washington Post reports that several major retail chains - including The Disney Store, Aeropostale, and PacSun - are eliminating the use of "on-call scheduling," described as " a practice in which employees must be prepared to come in for a shift, but could find out at the last minute that they don’t have to report to work."

The reason? Well, it isn't because the companies' human resources departments suddenly had an attack of conscience, realizing that this wasn't fair to employees. No, it was because labor advocates drew enough attention to the practice that a group of state attorneys general started questioning the legality of the policy.

“On-call shifts are not a business necessity and should be a thing of the past. People should not have to keep the day open, arrange for child care, and give up other opportunities without being compensated for their time,” Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, said in a statement. “I am pleased that these companies have stepped up to the plate and agreed to stop using this unfair method of scheduling.”

I'll go a step further. I think this is a reprehensible and unconscionable way to treat employees. I'm glad that government officials have stepped in to "persuade" companies that they need to go in a different direction. Though I wouldn't be surprised if some legislator somewhere decides to introduce a bill that would legalize such a practice.
KC's View: