Following an inquiry from multiple state attorneys, a few major chains say they're walking away from on-call scheduling.
From the Washington Post:
The New York attorney general’s office said Monday that Aeropostale, Disney, PacSun, Zumiez and Carter’s have each ceased using this type of scheduling at their stores after discussions related to the probe — a move that benefits some 50,000 employees.
"On-call shifts are not a business necessity and should be a thing of the past. People should not have to keep the day open, arrange for child care, and give up other opportunities without being compensated for their time," said Eric T. Schneiderman, the New York attorney general, in a statement to the Post. "I am pleased that these companies have stepped up to the plate and agreed to stop using this unfair method of scheduling."
On-call scheduling allows companies to keep their payroll numbers relatively low, while still maintaining available staff in case it gets busy. It also royally screws over the employee, because not only is this person out of work if they aren't scheduled that day, but they couldn't have worked anywhere else because they were "on-call."
Basically, unpredictable schedules make it impossible to earn a steady paycheck and make it almost impossible to plan for anything else in your life, like school or childcare.