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These Retailers Just Ended This Annoying Practice for Their Workers

December 20, 2016, 2:20 PM UTC
Shoppers passing by Aeropostale retail store inside a mall,
Aeropostale is among retailers ending the practice of on-call work shift scheduling.
Roberto Machado Noa LightRocket via Getty Images

Christmas has come early for about 50,000 retail workers: Chains like the Disney Store and Aeropostale have agreed to end the practice of on-call shift scheduling.

In recent years, retail and restaurant chains have employed the practice, in which employees must be prepared to come in for a shift, but could learn at the last minute that they don’t have to show up for work. It’s a strategy that helps companies keep costs down, but it’s drawn criticism from labor rights supporters who say it makes it difficult for workers to coordinate personal commitments like childcare.

Following an inquiry from the New York Attorney General’s office on Monday, Aeropostale, Disney, David’s Tea, PacSun, Zumiez, and Carter’s have said they still stop the practice, USA Today reported. What’s more, Carter’s, Disney, David’s Tea, and Zumiez will give employees their work schedules at least one week in advance of the start of the work week.


The announcement comes after the attorneys general of several states—including California, Maryland, and New York—sent a letter to retailers in April criticizing on-call shift scheduling. At least 10% of the U.S. workforce has on-call or irregular work schedules, according to a 2015 report from the Economic Policy Institute. The study also found that the lowest-income workers have the most sporadic work schedules.