Gap and its five subsidiary brands have announced they plan to phase out on-call shifts by the end of September, reports Reuters.
The company’s move comes after New York State attorney general Eric Schneiderman sent letters to Gap and 13 other companies in April inquiring about the legality of on-call scheduling. He said that requiring employees to be on call for shifts that may be cancelled with little notice without compensation may violate New York law that calls for employees to receive at least four hours at minimum wage for scheduled shifts they report for.
While on-call shifts may be beneficial to corporations, as it allows management to schedule staff based on a store’s traffic, it’s a headache for their employees. When employees are given only a short period of time before a shift starts, it creates uncertainty leading to increased stress and concern for transportation and childcare.
Today Gap announced that they and their five subsidiary brands — Athena, Banana Republic, Intermix and Old Navy — will stop scheduling on-call shifts by the end of September and will give workers 10 to 14 days notice before a shift.
Abercrombie and Fitch, Starbucks and Victoria’s Secret are among other companies that have recognized the difficulties of on-call shifts and who have also begun phasing them out. Schneiderman said in a statement on Wednesday:
“Workers deserve stable and reliable work schedules, and I commend Gap for taking an important step to make their employees’ schedules fairer and more predictable.”
In a company blog post, Gap said:
“At Gap Inc., we also believe that work-life integration enables all employees to reach their full potential and thrive both personally and professionally.
“We recognize that flexibility, inclusive of consistent and reliable scheduling, is important to all of our employees.”