Turns out, doctors are not the only ones on-call these days. Entry-level Forever 21 employees are, too. According to a lawsuit filed by Raalon Kennedy, a former Forever 21 sales clerk, the Los Angeles-based fast fashion giant requires employees to be on call for shifts but does not compensate them for it. Kennedy claims that when on-call employees report to work, they are not compensated if they are subsequently sent home. In his complaint, Kennedy alleges: “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 [California state] law.”
Interestingly, Kennedy’s lawsuit comes just a week after Robynette Robinson filed suit against BCBG, in which she alleges BCBG employees are similarly required to report for on-call shifts and also not paid to do so. “This class action on behalf of BCBG Max Azria Group LLC retail store employees challenge[s] a new form of wage theft — the practice of scheduling employees in retail stores for ‘on-call’ shifts but failing to pay the employees required reporting-time pay,” Robinson states in her complaint.
Both companies appear to be in direct violation of California law, which requires that employees be compensated with “reporting time pay” (which is equivalent to their regular hourly rate) for being required to report to work but being asked to work less than half of the actual shift. Other states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington, DC, also have similar labor laws in place.
Bridgeford Gleason & Artinian, the law firm representing both Kennedy and Robinson, have filed similar lawsuits against other retailers, such as Gap and its subsidiaries, PacSun, and Tilly’s, and plans to file four or five similar suits. More to come …