Forever 21 Faces Employment Class Action over On Call Scheduling

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Santa Clara, CA: Forever 21 Retail Inc. is facing an employment class action lawsuit over the practice of using on-call shifts. This practice results in failure to compensate workers who report for work but ultimately aren't put to work.

Former Forever 21 sales clerk, Raalon Kennedy, claims in the lawsuit, that the clothing retailer doesn't pay its employees reporting time pay, which they are entitled to if they report to work but aren't put to work or work less than half a scheduled day' work. In the complaint, Kennedy calls this practice the latest form of wage theft.

"On-call shifts, like regular shifts, also have a designated beginning time and quitting time. Forever 21 informs its employees to consider an on-call shift a definite thing until they are actually told they do not need to come in,"the lawsuit states. "In reality, these on-call shifts are no different than regular shifts, and Forever 21 has misclassified them in order to avoid paying reporting time in accordance with applicable law."

According to the complaint, Kennedy worked as a sales clerk at a Southern California Forever 21 store, where he was frequently scheduled to work on-call shifts, both after his regularly scheduled shift and on days when he otherwise wasn't required to work.

Under California labor law, nonexempt employees must be paid reporting time pay when they are required to report to work but aren't put to work or are only paid less than half of their scheduled day' work. Kennedy states that Forever 21 never compensated him with reporting time pay.

The complaint asserts that these on-call shifts take a toll on employees, especially those in low-wage sectors, making it difficult for employees to obtain other employment or plan activities on days they're scheduled for on-call shifts.

The complaint alleges failure to pay reporting time pay, failure to pay all wages earned at termination, failure to provide accurate wage statements and unfair business practices and asks for the payment of unpaid wages as well as compensatory and economic damages and attorneys' fees and costs, among other claims for relief.

Kennedy is represented by Patrick McNicholas and Michael J. Kent of McNicholas & McNicholas LLP, Jason M. Frank and Scott H. Sims of Eagan Avenatti LLP, and Richard K. Bridgford and Michael H. Artinian of Bridgford Gleason & Artinian. The case is Kennedy v. Forever 21 Retail Inc. et al., case number BC597806, in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.

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