Sometimes employees in California reports to work and expects to execute their normal duties, but are deprived of the work either due to proper working schedule or being misinformed by the employer. In such a case, an employee is supposed to be paid unless there is an exception to this. The payment is referred to as reporting time pay. The law limits any employer’s right to call an employee to work and then fail to provide a minimum time that should be worked. If your employer has not allowed you to work for your full shift even after reporting to work and it seems your employer’s routine, you have the right to get your unpaid wages. To be paid, you need to file a wage claim and ensure your rights as an employee are protected.
When Is Reporting Time Pay Needed?
Unfortunately, most of the employers in California don’t follow the California Labor Code laws. One of the most commonly ignored is the law mandating them to pay workers reporting time pay. It states that if an employee is to report to work for their normal day’s work but gets less than half of what they were deemed to work for that day, then they must be paid for half of their normal day’s work. The pay should be at a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 4 hours. Generally, the payment will be based on two ways:
- Employees presented themselves for work on a scheduled shift, but they never had a chance to work.
- Employees showed up for their regular duties but were allowed to work less than half of their scheduled shift’s work.
Additionally, suppose an employee is to report to work again on the same day, but only work for less than 2 hours. In that case, the employer is supposed to pay the employee a minimum of 2 hours irrespective of the hours the employee worked. But some exceptions apply for this:
- If there was an act of God such as inclement weather that has disrupted how the work is to be performed.
- There is a failure on the part of public utilities such as poor sewer system or lack of water
- When civil authorities order the work not to commence or stop working
- There are threats to employees or property
Again, if an employee is called for a meeting which was not scheduled, then he/she is entitled to receive a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 4 hours pay if they work for 8 hours or more in a work day. However, if the employee was scheduled to work for 2 hours or less, and he/she works for an hour of the scheduled time, here, there would be no reporting time pay. Also, if an employee is scheduled to work but voluntarily leaves early, then the employer has no obligation for reporting time pay. If you believe in having reporting time pay and your employer is not paying you, you may consider looking for an employment law attorney in California. An employer is supposed to notify the employees and schedule their work in advance properly. If a shift is cancelled, the employer should inform you in advance.
How To File Your Claim
To file a successful claim, it all starts up with gathering the information you need. While it’s the work of your employer to have a clear record of hours worked by an employee, you also need to keep accurate records for time worked if you consider having a reporting time pay. If your employer hesitates to pay your reporting time pay makes sure to have all your paystubs. In such a situation, it’s more likely this is happening to other employees too. It’s not a surprise that an employer may also discriminate an employee or retaliate against then for filing a claim or have given notice of filing a claim if not paid. In such a case, one may also file a discrimination or retaliation claim. However, instead of filing a single claim, you can opt to join a class and have a class-action lawsuit. Although these claims could bar a class action consideration, the fact that an employer has a repetitive and systematic way to avoid paying reporting time pay could qualify for a class-action lawsuit. In such a case, you will spend less to litigate and will be assured of your financial recovery.
An Employment Lawyer Can Help
Reporting time pay is a part of wages. That’s why failure to pay an employee their reporting time pay amounts to penalties. In most cases, reporting time pay is just complicated, as each case is different. Thus, it becomes hard to anticipate the outcome of any given case. You can speak to a lawyer who understands California labor laws to determine the validity of your claim. He/she can also offer advice as to whether the claim can be resolved without going to court. If issues are not resolved, the same lawyer will represent you in a hearing to obtain a decision on your claim.