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Minimum pay for required meetings?

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  • Minimum pay for required meetings?

    My boyfriend is a non-exempt, hourly employee with a security company. This week, he was required to come into work on his day off to attend a manditory training meeting that lasted an hour. The company handbook says that any time an employee is called in, they will be paid for a minimum of four hours. However, he was told today that he is only going to be paid for the one hour of the actual training.

    My questions are:
    1. Under Massachusetts labor law, is there a minimum number of hours that an employer must pay an employee when then have been called into work on a day when they would otherwise have off?

    2. If the answer to #1 is no, doesn't the fact that they publish it in their employee handbook make it so anyway? Can he file an Non-Payment of Wages Complaint Form based on a published policy that wasn't followed?

    This type of thing has happened more than once now.

    Thanks for any info!

  • #2
    Reporting pay refers to compensation for when an employee reports to work as scheduled and does not receive his full scheduled hours because of lack of work (most common reason). It does not refer to being scheduled for work (meetings, also) on the employee's regularly scheduled day off. So reporting pay, even if it is required in MA, would not apply here.

    There is no legal requirement that the employer follow the handbook every time for every situation. Besides, the handbook is only as good as the day it was printed; policies may have changed since then. Plus, make sure your bf is interpreting the policy correctly, taking into consideration the definitions I gave above.

    Then, why doesn't he just ask? Nicely, of course.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 08-26-2005, 08:37 AM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.


    • #3
      And no, the fact that it is in the company handbook does not require the employer to do so anyway.
      The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


      • #4
        I think I remember reading on the Labor poster at one of my previous jobs that the minimum pay is 3 hours. My company used to pay 3 hours for mandatory one hour meetings each month.


        • #5
          Many members of this board are located in the eastern states and routinely rib in a good-natured way (it is good natured, isn’t it? ) California’s labor laws as they view them being overly “employee-friendly.” In what can only be described as fair play, I am going to take this opportunity to poke some good natured fun at one of Massachusetts laws -- reporting time pay. How utterly employee-unfriendly!

          In a 2002 published opinion letter, Lisa Price, Legal Counsel for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, explains that if an employer schedules an employee to work for three hours or more but does not actually provide him with three hours of work, the employee is entitled to three hours of pay. Seems to make sense, and also seems fair. Ms. Price further expains, however, that if an employer calls an employee into work and schedules him to work less than three hours (e.g., to attend a one-hour staff meeting on his normal day off), the employer only has to pay the employee for the 1 hour he worked – the employee does not get three hours of reporting time pay. Rationale being: He wasn’t scheduled to work more than three hours.

          Observation: Regardless of whether an employee is scheduled to work 3 or hours or not, if actually doesn’t work three hours, shouldn’t he be compensated at least this amount for the inconvenience of dressing for work; commuting to/from work (maybe in the snow); cost of transportation, etc.? Guess what California says.
          Barry S. Phillips, CPA

          IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: This response is intended to provide general information and written for educational purposes only. It does not establish a client relationship. This communication is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to any party any matters addressed herein.