LABOR LAW NEWS
3 Employment Law Challenges Facing Retailers
By Kelsey Basten
Published on July 6, 2017
Navigating the waters of employment law is a tough task for many retailers. From communication laws to equal pay issues, each day brings a new challenge. Below is a summary of three employment law challenges facing retailers. Check them out to see if you can relate!
1. Recording Video/Audio in the Workplace
With the increase in electronic recorders, it is common for employees to record situations in the workplace for later use in administrative or judicial forums in employment-related actions. But what if the employer does not feel comfortable with the recording? How do you know who is in the right?
According to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), employers cannot prohibit employees from recording video or audio of protected picketing and documenting unsafe equipment or workplace conditions.
Also, the NLRB states an employer cannot prohibit an employee from recording discussions with others about terms and conditions of employment or inconsistent employer rules.
You can read more about recording video/audio in the workplace here.
2. On-Call vs. Predictive Scheduling
Larger cities, such as New York City and San Francisco, have recently banned the practice of “on-call scheduling” for retail employers. In the past, on-call scheduling was utilized to combat the unpredictable fluctuations in customer flow experienced in the retail industry.
Instead of providing predictive work schedules, retail employers would place employees “on-call.” This required employees to call in shortly before the start of their work shift to determine whether they needed to come into work that day. This helps avoid excess labor costs for the employer.
Employees oppose on-call scheduling in some cases for the following reasons:
They are unable to predict their income because the number of hours worked is unclear
The lack of a predictive schedule impacts the planning of their day-to-day life, such as the ability to schedule appointments, attend school or hold a second job
3. Minimum Wage and Wage Theft
Both minimum wage and wage theft are big issues for retail employers. First, minimum wage laws, can differ by state, county and/or city. Because many retail employers have multiple locations in multiple states, tracking minimum wage is a daunting task.
Learn about how you can tackle minimum wage confusion here.
Without full knowledge of minimum wage rates, employers may face wage theft violations, which can end up costing thousands – if not millions – of dollars. There isn’t one specific definition of wage theft, but wagetheft.org describes it as something that occurs when employees do not receive their legally or contractually promised wages.
Read more about wage theft here.
Have you experienced these challenges in your retail locations? You’re not alone. Feel free to share this with your retail connections to hear their thoughts on these issues!
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