Forever 21 joins ranks of retailers experiencing scheduling crackdowns

Retail giant Forever 21 is no stranger to controversy. In the past they’ve been hit with many lawsuits regarding stolen copyrighted designs from its competitors. Now it’s being slammed with a class action lawsuit regarding unfair scheduling practices and disobeying California labor laws.

Raalon Kennedy filed a suit against Forever 21, his former employer, that claims the company had required employees to be on-call for shifts, but were uncompensated if they showed up for work and were sent home. In the state of California, reporting-time laws require workers to be compensated for showing up to work or being on-call even if they’re sent home.

This lawsuit highlights an ongoing problem for retailers but is only the tip of the iceberg. Urban Outfitters recently announced they would stop on-call scheduling in the state of New York after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent letters to 13 retailers looking into whether their scheduling practices obey labor laws. Among the thirteen retailers was Gap, Target, and Ann Taylor, all of which were thought to be noncompliant with reporting-time laws.

Erratic scheduling can make it hard for employees to make ends meet. A CitiSales study found that 59 percent of full-time workers experienced fluctuations in shifts week to week meaning inconsistent income and inability to pay rent or other expenses. Additionally, the Center for Law and Social Policy reported that a study done by Susan Lambert found, only three out of 17 major U.S. corporations within retail gave employees schedules a week in advance. For employees that require child care or have a second job, scheduling on short notice can be problematic.

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