What is Time Well Spent?

If I send one of my employees home for the day because I don't have any work for him, do I have to pay him for half a day's wages?
By: Larry Silver
March 11, 2009 - PRLog -- Time Well Spent

Q: If I send one of my employees home for the day because I don't have any work for him, do I have to pay him for half a day's wages? A friend of mine told me that employees are entitled to "show-up" pay of half a day simply for driving in to work. Is this true?

A: It depends on where you live.

As an example, in 1990 the State of Oregon did away with its "show-up pay" rule for adult employees. So if you live in Oregon, the answer is no. The Oregon employer is not obligated to pay for a half a day's work. Yes, as the employee did show up for work and was asked to wait on company property, the employer is responsible for paying the employee for 15 minutes. That is all. (Source)

However, if our employer was in California, that state does have a show-up rule that mandates "show-up pay" for employees sent home for lack of work. According to the California.gov web site, section on Department of Industrial Relations:

Each workday an employee is required to report to work, but is not put to work or is furnished with less than half of his or her usual or scheduled day's work, the employee must be paid for half the usual or scheduled day's work, but in no event for less than two hours nor more than four hours, at his or her regular rate of pay.

For example, if an employee is scheduled to report to work for an eight-hour shift and only works for one hour, the employer is nonetheless obligated to pay the employee four hours of pay at his or her regular rate of pay (one for the hour worked, and three as reporting time pay). Only the one-hour actually worked, however, counts as actual hours worked. (Source)

Time well spent is looking at your state's web site (www. "Your State Name".gov), and familiarizing yourself with your state's wage and hour laws. You may be very surprised by how much has changed in just the past year. Most states have easy-to-navigate sites that offer Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) for employers.

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