J. Crew just ended a very controversial policy

Recently, J. Crew announced a major change in policy in all of their stores nationwide. Specifically, a major nix in policy: the ending of on-call scheduling, or the practice of keeping workers on-call for shifts on short notice. The retailer announced the change among major pressure from New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman, who sent 13 letters to major retailers questioning the practice.

“After discussion with my office, J. Crew has agreed to end on-call shifts nationwide and to provide one week of advance notice about schedules to employees at all New York store locations,” Schneiderman said in a statement on Friday. “This agreement is the latest in an ongoing inquiry into the practice of on-call scheduling and is the sixth agreement we have reached with a major retailer this year.”

The decision will affect all of J. Crew’s stores — over 16,000 in America. “I commend J. Crew for taking these steps to ensure that employees have schedules that are more predictable,” Schneiderman said in the statement. “Workers deserve protections that allow them to have a reliable schedule in order to arrange for transportation to work, to accommodate child care needs, and to budget their family finances.”

On-call scheduling had existed to help the company deal with sudden schedule changes, staff absences, and product deliveries, J. Crew senior vice president Maria Di Lorenzo said, according to Crains. However, the company has been discussing a possible removal of the policy for the past 10 months, and now has disabled it from its scheduling software and will be filling schedule gaps via a volunteer basis. “J.Crew has strict anti-retaliation policies,” Di Lorenzo said. “Consistent with those policies, J.Crew will not retaliate against associates who do not volunteer to cover these shifts.”

In recent months, Bath & Body Works, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, and Hollister have done away with the practice following pressure from Schneiderman. Urban Outfitters has also done away with the practice in its New York stores. Among the companies who received a letter and have not revised their policies are TJ Maxx parent company TJX Group and Ann Taylor Loft parent company Ann Inc.

Starbucks is another company that is working to address its scheduling issues, particularly “clopening,” the process of having a barista close the shop only to open it early the next morning.

It’s essential for employees to be able to know their shifts ahead of time and have a reliable schedule to depend on to foster a healthy work-life balance. We commend J. Crew for finally doing away with on-call scheduling for the welfare of its team.


This four-year-old fashion prodigy just designed a line for J.Crew. For real.

(Image via Twitter.)