About a week ago, retailer Gap announced that store employees across its five brands would not have to work on-call schedules. Gap said that it was ending on-call scheduling for employees at its Gap stores, as well as Old Navy, Athleta, Intermix, and Banana Republic.
According to Fortune, Andi Owen, the Global President for Banana Republic, said that on-call scheduling started to be phased out during the summer. She continued to say that all of its stores will eliminate on-call scheduling by the end of this September.
As for all of Gap’s brands, Gap is hoping to phasing out the practice by early 2016. Owen said that Gap stores, as well as its other brands, are committed to improving their scheduling policies, and that they will provide their store employees with at least 10-14 days notice.
The New York attorney general’s office said that Gap was ending the on-scheduling policy after it launched an inquiry. According to CBS, the attorney general’s office requested information about Gap’s scheduling practice. This request was made back in April, and Gap wasn’t the only retailer that received such a request. There were actually 12 other retailers who received the request.
The attorney general received reports that there were employers who were setting shifts just a few hours in advance or the night before. In turn, workers didn’t have a whole lot of time to work other jobs or arrange care for their children.
As for Gap phasing out its policy, the attorney general commended the company for doing it. The attorney general said that this was an important step that Gap was taking in order to make sure Gap employees’ schedules were more fair and more predictable.
Gap isn’t the only one that is phasing out on-call scheduling. A few weeks ago, Abercrombie & Fitch said that in September it would stop the practice in its New York stores. Just like Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch has plans to stop using the practice altogether.
The on-schedule policy that Gap has used, as well as other companies, have drawn criticism from some consumer advocates, as well as some lawmakers. There are some people who say that the scheduling practices that Gap and others use hinders workers and can disrupt their family life.
Asides from Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret has also done away with the practice. Over in San Francisco, a bill of rights for retail workers was passed in November. The bill of rights ensures retailer workers have a more predictable schedule, as well as access to extra hours.
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