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Regulators Investigate 15 Retailers for Controversial On-Call Scheduling Practices

Shoppers walk past the Aeropostale storeShoppers walk past the Aeropostale store
Shoppers walk past an Aeropostale store.Photograph by Karen Bleier—AFP via Getty Images

Attorney generals in eight states have begun looking into retailers’ on-call scheduling practices.

The regulators—from California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, and the District of Columbia—have sent a letter to 15 retailers requesting information about their on-call scheduling, the Wall Street Journal reports. That includes employee handbooks, scheduling policies, samples of work schedules, and payroll records.

In the letter they claim that on-call scheduling is an unnecessary practice, and they bring up “public policy concerns” about how it affects employees’ well-being. The unpredictability of it makes it difficult for workers to secure a babysitter if necessary, make last minute travel arrangements, or get a second job to supplement their income. Retail Sales Person was ranked as one of the top 10 worst jobs of 2016 by CareerCast.com with a median salary of $21,670.

The letter was sent to American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Aeropostale (ARO), BCBG Max Azria, Carter’s (CRI), Coach (COH), DavidsTea, Walt Disney Co., Forever 21, Justice, Pacific Sunwear (PSUN), Payless, Tilly’s (TLYS), Uniqlo, Vans, and Zumiez (ZUMIEZ).

New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman sent a similar letter to 13 retailers last summer. Soon afterwards, Gap (GPS), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), and Bath & Body Works repealed their on-call practices.