There’s not enough work – can California workers still get paid?

Mistakes in scheduling may result in free time for some employees at work. In California, state law mandates that employers issue what’s called “reporting time pay” to their personnel if there is a lack of work or an interruption of operations.

You may seek reporting time pay if you report for your shift but do not receive any tasks due to scheduling errors or your manager failing to provide proper notice.

Situations that reporting time pay covers

Reporting time pay is a form of compensation for employees. It triggers when someone shows up to their shift but is not put to work or has less than half their usual hours due to a lack of tasks. The amount of pay depends on the circumstances, but generally, an employee would get at least two hours of pay, with a maximum of four hours of pay.

In the state, you may receive this pay whether you report to the office in person or log in through your computer to work remotely. It also triggers once you arrive at a client’s job site or set out on a trucking route.

However, there are certain exceptions to this rule. For example, your employer does not have to pay you if the interruption of work is due to:

  • Threats to people or property
  • The breakdown of public utilities, cutting off gas, electricity or water supply
  • Recommendations from civil authorities
  • Reasons out of the company’s control, such as natural disasters

Failure to provide personnel with reporting time pay violates the labor code and may be the basis for penalties.

Know your rights as an employee

If your boss refuses to pay reporting time compensation, you may file a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. You may also consult a legal professional if you want to sue your employer in court.