On Call/Call-In Shift Lawsuits
Last Updated on April 13, 2020
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are no longer investigating this matter. The information here is for reference only. A list of open investigations and lawsuits can be viewed here.
- April 13, 2020 – Investigation Closed
- Thank you to everyone who helped contribute to this investigation. At this point, attorneys working with ClassAction.org have decided to close their investigation into this matter and no longer need to hear from people who had to work on call. If you have questions about your rights, contact an attorney in your area. For an open list of investigations, please visit this page. The information below was posted when the investigation began and exists for reference only.
At A Glance
- This Alert Affects:
- Employees who are frequently scheduled for on-call and call-in shifts.
- What's Going On?
- Several retailers have been hit with lawsuits saying that on-call shift scheduling is essentially "wage theft," as employees have to wait around without pay, but are never actually guaranteed work.
- Who's Been Sued?
- Hollister, Forever 21 and BCBG Max Azria have all been sued in California – and it's possible more suits could be filed.
- How Could a Lawsuit Help Me?
- You may be able to recover money for the time you spent waiting while on call.
- How Much Does It Cost to Contact You?
- It costs nothing to contact us or to speak to the lawyers we work with.
Attorneys working with ClassAction.org are investigating whether class action lawsuits can be filed on behalf of employees who are required to be “on call” for work.
Several lawsuits have been filed against retailers, particularly in California, who make their employees clear their personal schedules for “on call” or “call in” shifts even when they are not guaranteed work. These suits equate the practice to “wage theft” and are seeking compensation for these workers, as well as court orders to make these companies change their scheduling practices.
On-Call Shifts: Does the Law Say You Should Be Paid?
Unfortunately, the law isn’t particularly clear when it comes to whether an employee should be paid for on-call time. The more restrictions your employer places on you in regard to your on-call shift, however, the better the chances that you should be paid for this time.
Some factors the court will take into account when deciding whether you should have been paid for your on-call time include:
Where you can go while on call. If you can’t leave your house or have to be within a certain distance from your job, it is more likely that a court would find you are owed wages.
What you can do while on call. If you can’t take your kids to school, run errands or spend your time as you normally would, it’s possible that you deserve pay for your on-call time. You may also be owed pay if you can’t drink alcohol while on call or are prohibited from working another job during this time.
When you need to be at work. If you’re required to show up at your job within a short window after finding out that you have to work, you may be owed money for time spent waiting.
Certain states, including California, have stronger protections for employees who are required to be on call. In fact, the New York Attorney General sent a letter to 13 stores, including Target, J. Crew and Abercrombie & Fitch, telling the companies that use of on-call shift scheduling could run them afoul of state labor laws.
On-Call Shift Lawsuits: Who’s Been Sued?
The majority of these lawsuits have been filed in California, where the law is friendlier to plaintiffs. Stores that have already been hit with lawsuits include:
- Forever 21
- BCBG Max Azria
These suits allege that the stores’ on-call shift scheduling often hinders workers from earning money elsewhere and that they have to “mold their lives” around the possibility that they may have to go into work. Several retailers, including Urban Outfitters and Bath & Body Works, have even changed their scheduling practices and stopped assigning on-call shifts.
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