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What is on-call scheduling?

Many employers across the country use on-call worker scheduling. This requires employees to call-in to work shortly before their scheduled work shift to determine whether they are required to go in to work. Call-in shifts are mandatory and the employee must be available to work every scheduled call-in shift.  If the employee is not needed, he or she may not physically show up to work and is not paid for the day. However, if the employee is needed, he or she is expected to show up for work and may be disciplined if he or she fails to timely do so.

How does on-call scheduling impact workers?

On-call worker scheduling is extremely disruptive to workers. Employers knowingly overschedule their store staff and place many employees on-call so that they can draw from a large pool of labor while compensating only a few.  This practice disrespects employees’ time and forces them to shape their lives around the possibility of work.  For example, employees must arrange for childcare not knowing whether that childcare service will be necessary or they must

scramble to find childcare at the last minute.  Employees’ schedules become unpredictable and they cannot schedule other activities or employment for the times when they are on-call.  They cannot go on family vacation, schedule doctor’s appointments, or attend to family commitments.  If employees are late or miss their shift, they are disciplined.  If the employer decides that it does not need the employee for the on-call shift, then the employee receives no compensation for having cleared his or her schedule for work.

Does on-call scheduling violate the law?

On-call worker scheduling may be in violation of wage and hour laws in several states. These state laws require employers to compensate employees who report for work and then are told they are not needed.

If you have been subjected to on-call worker scheduling, we would like to talk to you. Please complete our questionnaire and a member of our legal team will contact you.

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If you were subjected to “on-call” scheduling, contact us for a consultation.