On-call scheduling, employed by many retailers, has become a hot topic of debate, with Forever 21 the latest target.
A legal complaint, filed this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, against the company seeks class action status and accuses the retailer of wage theft.
The lawsuit was filed by attorneys for Raalon Kennedy, a former employee who worked at a Thousand Oaks, Calif., Forever 21 in 2013.
At the heart of the complaint is on-call scheduling, used by a number of retailers, which provides a much shorter lead time for workers than regular shift scheduling. Forever 21, according to the complaint, sometimes assigns on-call shifts to employees the same day they’re already scheduled for a regular shift. Employees are required to call two hours ahead of the on-call shift to verify if their labor is needed, according to the complaint.
State labor laws require employers to pay for what’s called reporting time pay, or hours for when a worker shows up for a shift but ends up not working or not working the entire shift length. The suit alleges the company does not include on-call scheduling hours when determining reporting time pay.
A Forever 21 spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.
The office of New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman said this month that Urban Outfitters agreed to end on-call shifts for employees in the state, beginning with a rollout in November that gives workers at least one week’s notice of their schedules. Schneiderman has taken up the issue with a number of inquiries into companies’ on-call practices this year. Abercrombie & Fitch, Bath & Body Works, Gap and Victoria’s Secret have also ended such practices, according to Schneiderman’s office.