American Eagle responds to its cease of on-call shifts
American Eagle Outfitters on Friday responded to the use of on-call shifts. The specialty retailer ceased the use of on-call shifts in November 2015 and advised all of its stores.
“American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. is committed to providing our associates with a positive working environment,” the company said in a statement. “We are taking steps to reinforce and assure adherence to this policy across our store fleet.”
The retailer, like many other fashion companies, came under fire in 2013 for its use of on-call shifts. This scheduling practice allows for store managers to decide in the moment if they will need an associate to work at the store on that day. If the associate’s presence is needed then the manager will call them one or two hours before the shift to come in, but if they are not needed then they are alerted to remain at home. This short notice leaves the associate at the mercy of their employer, hoping to work for extra income or finding out too late if they have the day off.
The Chicago Tribune revealed on Wednesday that the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and eight other state attorneys general are looking into how national retailers set workers’ schedules. They sent 15 letters seeking information on the use of on-call shifts.
Madigan said in the statement, "Learning just hours before a scheduled shift whether you are going to work or not is an unacceptable and challenging business practice. Workers — no matter where they work — should not be subject to that type of unpredictability and uncertainty in their lives."
Though this is the most recent call to end “on-call shifts”, the fight has been ongoing with the Huffington Post calling this to attention in 2013.
Writer Safi Knafo said in an article, “[Stephanie Luce, a professor at the City University of New York] said the rise of on-call shifts is related to the increasing popularity of cutting down on workers’ hours, including the hiring of more and more part-time workers. The cutthroat climate of globalization helped bring about those measures, she said, and the recession made them even more common.”
The war waged on with Victoria’s Secret dropping on-call shifts in 2015 after a lawsuit that deemed the practice illegal. Other retailers that have come under fire include Coach, Justice, Tilly’s, Uniqlo, BCBG Max Azria, Carter’s, Forever 21, PacSun, Payless ShoeSource, and Vans.
American Eagle operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites.
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