Jason Habinsky in HR Magazine: Use of On-Call Shifts in Retail Industry Questioned in N.Y.

04/24/2015

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a preliminary investigation into the staffing practices of 13 national retailers including Target, Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch to determine whether their on-call scheduling practices violate New York labor laws. New York’s call-in pay requirement states that employees who report to work by request or permission of the employer for a scheduled shift are entitled to at least four hours of pay at minimum wage, even if they are sent home without working at all or if they work fewer than four hours...

The law at issue in New York applies to an employee who has reported to work. In other words, once someone is at the workplace, he or she cannot be sent home without some compensation. It is unlikely that the law was intended to cover employees who check in to discover that they are not needed for work and so thus never actually report for work on that day, according to Jason Habinsky, an attorney in Haynes and Boone’s New York office, who noted that he has never seen a case where the statute was interpreted to cover employees who were told not to report at all.

However, “the [attorney general] appears to have an expansive view of what ‘reports to work’ means,” Habinsky said. “Employers should carefully watch what happens with this investigation and see how broadly New York state views the terms of the law,” he advised.

Excerpted from HR Magazine. To read the full article, click here.

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