I love it when readers ask questions. I’m not an expert, but I try to provide the best answers I can. This article covers a common question I receive.
When you show up for your regular shift, but get sent home early, is there a minimum number of hours your employer must pay?
In short, the answer is most likely no. But there might be a state law that provides some relief.
The typical legal term for this type of payment is “reporting pay.” Sometimes it is also called “show up pay.”
Basically, some employers have to pay their employees a minimum number of hours when the employee shows up for work but is sent home early. The typical reporting pay statute requires around 3-4 hours of work for a shift. If you work the minimum number of hours during a shift, reporting pay is not an issue. But if your employer sends you home after only 1 or 2 hours, he must give you “show up pay” for another couple of hours.
No federal reporting pay
To complicate this subject even further, federal law has no reporting pay requirements. If you are entitled to reporting pay, it will be based on a state law or maybe a local ordinance.
For many employees, this means you’re out of luck. From a federal standpoint, minimum working shifts is just not an issue of concern. But as we’re about to see, some states require reporting pay.
State reporting pay requirements
California’s reporting pay statute provides a great example:
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 dayâ€™s work, the employee must be paid for half the usual or scheduled dayâ€™s work, but in no event for less than two hours nor more than four hours, at his or her regular rate of pay.
If an employee is required to report to work a second time in any one workday and is furnished less than two hours of work on the second reporting, he or she must be paid for two hours at his or her regular rate of pay.
To find out if your state has a reporting pay law, you should contact your state’s labor department. Most of them have great information on their website. Here are the state labor department websites:
Hopefully this article helps answer your reporting pay questions. But if I missed something or this is unclear, please post a comment below. We can all learn from each other!
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