Urban Outfitters Will End On-Call Scheduling In New York

Following in the footsteps of retailers like Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Abercrombie & Fitch and Gap, Urban Outfitters says it will stop using on-call scheduling — but only in New York. This change comes after pressure from New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office, which has been probing various companies’ use of the system.

Critics of on-call scheduling say its unpredictability is stressful for workers: they often get their schedules at the last minute, and won’t know ahead of time how many hours they can expect to work in a week. It also requires them to be ready at a moment’s notice to show up for an early shift.

The Philadelphia-based retailer says it’s phasing in the change starting in November, Schneiderman’s office said in a statement, and has agreed to give workers their schedules at least a week in advance.

“Workers deserve basic protections, including a reliable work schedule that allows them to budget living expenses, arrange for childcare needs, and plan their days,” Schneiderman said.

But while many of the other brands vowed to end the practice in all their stores, or to do so eventually, Urban Outfitters is only getting rid of on-call scheduling in its New York locations. We reached out to Urban Outfitters to see if this is something the company will apply nationwide, and will update this post if we hear back.

Schneiderman’s office also sent letters to J. Crew Group Inc., Burlington Coat Factory, TJX Companies, Target Corp., Sears Holding Corp., Williams-Sonoma Inc., Crocs, Ann Inc. and J.C. Penney Co. Inc.

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