Urban Outfitters Faces Wage and Hour Class Action Lawsuit

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Santa Clara, CA: Urban Outfitters Inc. and subsidiaries Anthropologie Inc. and Free People Inc. are facing a a wage and hour class action lawsuit filed in California state court, alleging they use a call-in scheduling policy in violation of California labor law.

Filed by former Urban Outfitters retail sales clerk Mariah Charles, the lawsuit asserts the defendants requires some of their employees to call their managers two hours before they are tentatively scheduled for a shift in order to find out whether or not they will work that day. The company policy states that if the employees don't work, they aren't paid for making the phone call or for clearing their schedule for the day, according to the complaint.

"Defendants frequently do not allow employees to work a scheduled call-in shift, thereby depriving the employee of the opportunity to earn wages for the time they have made available to defendants," the lawsuit states. "Regardless of how many days and hours employees are in fact permitted to work, employees are required to mold their lives around the possibility that they will work each and every call-in shift."

According to the complaint, the call in policy also makes it impossible for employees to navigate eligibility requirements for government benefits like housing assistance, food stamps and child care subsidies, which are typically based on income or hours worked per week.

"Because employees are not permitted to effectively use their time for their own purposes when making the call-in inquiry, under California law, they are entitled to wages," the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claims the defendants' policy violates Section 5 of California's Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order 7-2001, which dictates that if an employee is required to show up for work and does, they are entitled to half a day's pay. Additionally, the company fails to pay minimum wage for the time the workers spend on the phone with their managers checking to see if they'll work that day.

The complaint alleges failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay reporting time pay, failure to provide accurate wage statements, failure to keep accurate records, failure to pay earned wages upon separation of employment, unlawful business practices, unfair business practices, and asks for civil penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act.

Charles is represented by Marcus J. Bradley, Kiley L. Grombacher and David C. Leimbach of Marlin & Saltzman LLP. The case is Mariah Charles v. Urban Outfitters Inc. et al., case number BC6-1952, in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles.

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Reader Comments

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Def saw this happening and had it happen to myself!

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