Bath & Body Works Latest Retailer to End On-Call Scheduling

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

September 11, 2015

Bath & Body Works will end on-call shifts for employees in all its US stores next month, according to a press release from New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

The body care and home fragrance retailer joins Victoria's Secret, the Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and other employers that have recently ended the practice.

Schneiderman had sent letters to those companies and many others last year, requesting pay records and noting that New York law requires them to pay employees who report for work the minimum wage for at least four hours or for the number of hours in their regularly scheduled shift, whichever is fewer.

Several other states have similar requirements, which are sometimes referred to as "show-up time" or "reporting time."

The practice of on-call scheduling itself is not yet prohibited by any state. San Francisco, however, recently enacted an ordinance requiring certain chain stores to provide employees two weeks' advance notice of their work schedules and seven days' advance notice of any changes to those schedules, and to pay employees one hour of pay for any changes in their work schedules made with less than seven days' notice and two to four hours of pay for any schedule changes made with less than 24 hours' notice.

At the federal level, legislation has been introduced that would, among other things, require certain employers to pay workers for at least four hours of work if they report to work when scheduled for at least four hours but are sent home early. This legislation is unlikely to pass, but could serve as a model for other states and municipalities to follow - much like states and municipalities have enacted their own minimum wage laws in recent years while the federal minimum wage has remained steady.