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April 13, 2015, 12:30 a.m. EDT

Retailers come under fire for work schedules

New York’s attorney general scrutinizes 13 big retailers, including Target and Gap, over their staffing practices

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By Lauren Weber


Bloomberg

New York’s attorney general is scrutinizing 13 big retailers over their staffing practices and whether they require workers to show up or stay home with little notice.

The office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters warning Target Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite TGT +1.14%  , Gap Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201996496/delayed DE:GAP -2.01%  and 11 others that it believes the chains are using on-call scheduling and that such practices may violate a New York law.

On-call scheduling systems have made big retailers more nimble, allowing them to staff stores during busy times and save on payroll during slow days. The software used by many retailers forecasts staffing needs based on real-time sales and traffic information.

Some employers require on-call workers to check in by phone, email or text shortly before their shift, Mr. Schneiderman’s office said.

If the store is expected to be busy, they must come in; if things are slow, they are told not to report for work and aren’t paid. These systems have been criticized by worker advocates, who say on-call scheduling makes workers’ lives and pay unpredictable.

In addition to Target and Gap, the retailers that received the letters are Abercrombie & Fitch Co. /zigman2/quotes/206677024/composite ANF +2.78%  ; Ann Inc.  ; Burlington Stores Inc. /zigman2/quotes/203203718/composite BURL +0.29%  ; Crocs Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201458716/composite CROX +2.28%  ; J.C. Penney Co. /zigman2/quotes/204684963/composite JCP +0.88%  ; J. Crew Group Inc.; L Brands Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202062875/composite LB -2.41%  ; Sears Holdings Corp.  ; TJX Cos. /zigman2/quotes/203136811/composite TJX +0.87%  ; Urban Outfitters Inc. /zigman2/quotes/208403734/composite URBN +2.26%  ; and Williams-Sonoma Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202067350/composite WSM -0.77%  

Target said it posts worker schedules 10 days before the start of a work week, which employees can check remotely. A spokeswoman said its scheduling methods don’t include “on-call” shifts where employees would be required to call in to see if they are working a given day.

Suzanne Kapner contributed to this article.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com .

/zigman2/quotes/207799045/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 126.45
+1.42 +1.14%
Volume: 3.55M
Dec. 9, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
20.20
Dividend Yield
2.09%
Market Cap
$64.08 billion
Rev. per Employee
$209,322
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/zigman2/quotes/201996496/delayed
DE : Germany: Frankfurt
14.60
-0.30 -2.01%
Volume: 0.00
Dec. 9, 2019 8:58p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
N/A
Rev. per Employee
N/A
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/206677024/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 17.37
+0.47 +2.78%
Volume: 1.88M
Dec. 9, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
22.91
Dividend Yield
4.61%
Market Cap
$1.06 billion
Rev. per Employee
$94,477
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/zigman2/quotes/203203718/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 223.65
+0.65 +0.29%
Volume: 654,105
Dec. 9, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
34.19
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$14.82 billion
Rev. per Employee
$151,556
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/201458716/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 36.27
+0.81 +2.28%
Volume: 949,577
Dec. 9, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.43 billion
Rev. per Employee
$278,955
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/204684963/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 1.14
+0.01 +0.88%
Volume: 5.01M
Dec. 9, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$361.60 million
Rev. per Employee
$126,516
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202062875/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 17.39
-0.43 -2.41%
Volume: 7.29M
Dec. 9, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
13.31
Dividend Yield
6.90%
Market Cap
$4.93 billion
Rev. per Employee
$148,898
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/203136811/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 60.36
+0.52 +0.87%
Volume: 5.45M
Dec. 9, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
23.73
Dividend Yield
1.52%
Market Cap
$73.20 billion
Rev. per Employee
$156,518
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/208403734/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 26.71
+0.59 +2.26%
Volume: 3.05M
Dec. 9, 2019 4:00p
P/E Ratio
11.76
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$2.56 billion
Rev. per Employee
$171,766
loading...
/zigman2/quotes/202067350/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 69.84
-0.54 -0.77%
Volume: 871,491
Dec. 9, 2019 6:30p
P/E Ratio
16.19
Dividend Yield
2.75%
Market Cap
$5.46 billion
Rev. per Employee
$204,014
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