NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

States And Retailers Reach Agreement On Scheduling Rules

Julio Cortez
Gladys Ortega, left, and Ursula Polano, center, both from Paterson, N.J., check out at the register of Dimpal Mandania, at Wal-Mart in Teterboro, N.J.

Attorneys general in eight states and the District of Columbia have settled an inquiry into the on-call scheduling policies of several major retailers, resulting in more predictable work schedules for some 50,000 workers.

In the agreement, retailers like Disney, Aeropostale, and Carter's, agreed to halt their on-call scheduling practices. That's when retail workers are put on the schedule not to work, but to call in to check if they are needed to work. Several states actually have rules against it.

Terri Gerstein, with New York's attorney general's office, says, "Use of on-call shifts is really becoming a thing of a past. I think companies have learned that it's not actually a business necessity."

Researchers say political pressure and poor customer experience is slowly eroding the practice.

States included in the settlement are California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island.