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Virginia - Required to be at work but not paid

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  • Virginia - Required to be at work but not paid

    Here is my employer's official policy in case of severe weather:

    There may be a need for management to request employees to arrive in advance of their shift in order to assure adequate staffing and is free to use their time as they see fit, they will not be paid for those hours. If an employee needs to remain on site following their shift and is free to sleep or use their time until the beginning of the next shift, they will not be paid until they begin work again. If called to work, then the employee would return to full pay status.

    My question is - is it legal to require workers to be on site but not compensated? My manager is trying to require hourly employees to spend the night (12 hours) "just in case" we can't make it in the morning, but offering no compensation for it, completely off the clock. Or does the word "request" in the official policy imply it can only be that and can not be required as my manager is attempting to do.

  • #2
    I can give you the federal law answer. You determine what is and is not "hours worked" and if it is hours worked, then it must be paid at least federal minimum wage, plus overtime if applicable.

    Sleeping Time and Certain Other Activities: An employee who is required to be on duty for less than 24 hours is working even though he/she is permitted to sleep or engage in other personal activities when not busy. An employee required to be on duty for 24 hours or more may agree with the employer to exclude from hours worked bona fide regularly scheduled sleeping periods of not more than 8 hours, provided adequate sleeping facilities are furnished by the employer and the employee can usually enjoy an uninterrupted night's sleep. No reduction is permitted unless at least 5 hours of sleep is taken.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)