Gap, Inc. Stops On-Call Shifts Labor Practice
In celebration of Women’s Equality Day, Gap Inc. has reaffirmed its commitment to “do more.” After all, when the company’s founders, Doris and Don Fisher, opened the very first Gap store back in 1969 on Ocean Avenue in San Francisco, they had sworn that they will “do more than sell clothes.” Today, they are saying they will soon phase out the use of on-call shifts across its entire organization.
The Retail Action Project refers to the utilization of on-call shifts as “inconvenient and abusive.” In this system, a scheduled employee is required by the employer to call the store around 2 hours ahead of his/her shift start time in order to see if the worker would be needed by the employer that day. This is quite a short notice and can possibly prevent a worker from pursuing other important activities for the day.
Moreover, the use of on-call shifts also contribute to unemployment. An on-call employee is actually expected to clear his/her schedule for a certain day, in favor of a possible employer. However, the Retail Action Project says that a retail worker can sometimes have just one guaranteed shift in a week, along with two to three on-call shifts. That is, it is possible that retail workers can be asked not to come and work for two to three shifts a week even if they are prepared to do so. This, in turn, leads them to miss out on other gainful employment.
Gap, in its blog, has said it will completely phase out the use of on-call shifts by September 2015. The changes will be implemented across its five brands – GAP, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta and INTERMIX.
Recently, Gap has also announced it would increase its hourly minimum pay to $10 by 2015. The said decision is expected to benefit over 60,000 employees in the U.S.