Abercrombie to Pay $9.6M to Settle Employee Pay Lawsuit

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By Jon Steingart

Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co. agreed to pay $9.6 million to settle claims that its retail scheduling practices violate a California law that mandates pay when an employee reports to work.

About 61,500 employees would receive payouts. They were owed pay under a law that requires compensation when an employee reports to work but is sent home because business is slow, the workers said.

Employees were required to call into the business before a shift to see if they should report to the store, but sometimes were told not to come in, they said. The workers argued that the phone call counted as reporting to work.

Judge Jesus G. Bernal of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California will determine whether the settlement is reasonable.

The agreement leaves unanswered the question of whether “call-in scheduling” triggers the reporting time pay law. Abercrombie filed an amicus brief in a separate case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit involving retailer Zumiez Inc. that could resolve the matter.

Victoria’s Secret settled a separate call-in shift lawsuit in 2017 for $12 million.

The case is Jones v. Abercrombie & Fitch Trading Co., C.D. Cal., No. 2:15-cv-00105, motion for preliminary settlement approval 7/16/18.

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