New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is shining a spotlight on retailers’ scheduling procedures—but the move may have direct consequences for door and window dealers as well.

Target, J.C. Penney and 11 other large retailers were asked for their staffing and scheduling information from Schneiderman’s office due to his concern for their “on-call” practices.

New York Attorney General
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman scrutinizing companies’ on-call procedures.

In New York, if a worker shows up for a shift and isn’t needed, the law says he or she must receive four hours’ pay. But if the worker is “on call” and told not to show up unless called in, no pay is given. That’s what Schneiderman takes issue with.

“That’s something that really blocks the day out for a worker,” he told NPR. “They can’t schedule another job; they can’t schedule child care. This is something that we have to deal with. It’s a growing problem.”

When it comes to scheduling workers, Richard Adamski, owner of Modern Window of New York, Inc., adheres the “show-up pay” law, but on the other end of the spectrum. Instead of telling employees not to come in due to a lack of work, Adamski may have to tell his staff to stay home when the weather in Buffalo, N.Y., is bad.

Field work is a different story, though—at least for Adamski.

“As far as field work goes, it doesn’t affect me because there’s always something to do. There are service calls, measures, alternative installs that can be done—things like that,” he says.

Running a lean business helps, but Adamski admits handling scheduling is a tough balancing act for business owners.

“If you run into a rough spot where there’s rough weather, I owe it to these families to keep them viable,” he says. “This last winter, we were down for a whole week. In a case like that, you try to compensate them in other ways.”

He also has systems in place to make sure cancellations don’t happen outside of weather-related incidents.

“All of our appointments are double-confirmed. We’ll confirm when they’re set, then confirm the day before,” he says. “But if you’re a busy company, there’s always something to do—so it’s almost a moot point.”

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