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Shouldn't they get paid?

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  • Shouldn't they get paid?

    A few days ago, the assembly workers of the company I work for in TX were not allowed to clock in at the usual time because a product needed in the line was not ready. The employees ended up waiting three hours at the company because they were told not to leave. Shouldn't we compensate the employees for the time they waited? They were not producing but they were asked not to leave the premises. Please advise.

  • #2
    Whether or not such time is compensable often depends on the reason involved, and whether the employee could pursue personal activites, even if required to stay on the premises.

    In this case, it appears the employees were required to stay on the premises because the work could be available at any time, as soon as the materials arrived. Because this time could not be determined, in my opinion, it would be compensable since personal activities were restricted by the company requiring the employee to begin working at an indefinite time in the future. This is known as "engaged to be waiting" and is compensable.

    However, if the employee were told work would begin in 3 hours then, even if required to stay on the premises, the federal DOL would consider that as noncompensable time, since that is what is known as "waiting to be engaged".
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