Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., better known as PacSun, is the most recent retailer to face a class action lawsuit alleging the employer used on-call shifts to avoid paying employees for shifts.
On-call shifts are when an employee is required to keep their schedule free in case their employer needs them to come in to work. They have to call the day of the shift to see if they have to come in to work. If they don’t have to go in to work, they don’t get paid, but chances are they’ve already lost out on other opportunities they could have taken advantage of during that time, like attending class or working another job.
This type of scheduling benefits employers by allowing them to tailor the number of their employees working at any given time to their needs. The employer doesn’t have to worry about not having enough workers if it gets busy or paying employees the wages of many employees when it’s not busy and they only need a few workers. But it’s unfair to the employees and they are starting to bring this unfairness to the attention of courts all over the country.
The lawsuit against PacSun was brought by Shayna B., a former employee who alleges the on-call shifts caused her lost wages and erratic scheduling.
The class action lawsuit alleges that, although PacSun claims the on-call shifts are no different from regular shifts, in reality, the retailer used this type of shift to avoid paying employees and recording all the time they worked.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not weigh in on the legality of on-call shifts, but some states have instituted labor laws to deal with the prevalence of on-call shifts in retail.
For example, California requires employers to pay its workers for half the scheduled work time for every on-call shift the employees do not have to come in to work. Earlier this year, the attorney general of New York sent a letter to several large retail companies stating that on-call shifts may be in violation of New York state law.
The retail industry has been experiencing several class action wage and hour lawsuits alleging on-call shifts are illegal. As often happens, once an on-call class action lawsuit was filed against one retailer, many employees of various retailers all across the country realized they might also have been taken advantage of by being required to call in to see before going in to work their shift to see if they were needed.
No one expects much out of retail jobs. They are notorious for paying minimum wage while their employees work part time. Most of the employees working these jobs don’t know their rights under the relevant labor law, and even those who do know their rights are afraid of retaliation from their employer if they speak out.
That’s what makes class actions so important. Employees can band together against their employers, and former employees, like Broadstone, can bring lawsuits on behalf of both current and former employees.
Our Elmhurst and Roselle wage and hour attorneys and unpaid overtime lawyers and attorneys are intimately familiar with the issues that arise during wage claim litigation, and we know the laws that govern overtime cases well. Many employers misclassify employees as being exempt from overtime laws and pay workers salaries instead of hourly wages in order to avoid paying them overtime. Some employers mistakenly classify employees as exempt and others intentionally do so in order to circumvent the law. In either case, workers do not receive the wages they should, and a lawsuit may be the only way to recover their earned wages.
Nationwide Consumer Rights is based in Chicago and Oakbrook Terrace. We represent clients throughout the country who have not been paid for the overtime hours that they worked. If you believe that you are owed overtime wages, contact one of our Chicago class action attorneys by phone at 630-333-0333 or through our online form.