Forever 21 Is the Latest Retailer to Be Sued for Utilizing Controversial On-Call Shifts


Forever 21, international purveyor of affordable clothes and empty promises of immortality, is the latest retailer to be hit with a lawsuit over its “exploitative scheduling practices.”

The company has been sued by Raalon Kennedy, a former sales clerk, who claims “the company requires employees to be on call for shifts but doesn’t compensate them with required pay for being made to report to work yet being sent home, as per California law.”

Reports Think Progress:

“In reality, these on-call shifts are no different than regular shifts, and Forever 21 has misclassified them in order to avoid paying reporting time in accordance with applicable law,” [Kennedy] said.
California law stipulates that employees be compensated with “reporting time pay” for being required to report to work but only being asked to work less than half of the actual shift. That pay is supposed to come to an employee’s regular rate of pay for half of a day’s work.

Earlier this year, CNN learned that the office of the Attorney General had sent letters “to 13 retail chains [including Target, Sears, Abercombie & Fitch, and Victoria’s Secret] asking for information about their so-called ‘on call shifts.’” Many of those retailers were the subject of a BuzzFeed report that detailed just how miserable on-call shifts can be.

Wrote BuzzFeed:

“A lot of people are working several part-time jobs, and if you’re on-call, you can’t work your other job at the same time,” said Christine Berry, who worked as a sales associate and a manager at a Banana Republic in New Jersey between 2010 and 2014. “You lost that time you could be working elsewhere.”

Two months after that piece was published, Abercrombie & Fitch promised to end on-call scheduling, but the office of the Attorney General has yet to make “any new rules on how such shifts should be treated” industry-wide.

Until that time, employees who have been unfairly treated will have to resort to lawsuits, and the one filed against Forever 21 is the second to to make recent headlines. Just last week, retailer BCBG was slapped with a class action suit, calling their scheduling practices “a new form of wage theft.”

In August, an Abercrombie & Fitch spokeswoman predicted we “probably will see some of the others making changes to preempt any legal issues they might run into.” But it doesn’t exactly look like they’re making them quickly enough.

Contact the author at [email protected].

Image via Getty.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin