If I work from home on company equipment, if thisit is not working due to no fault of mine, should I have to use personal vacation for down time?

Asked on September 22, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is no simple answer, since it depends on the exact situation. However, some general principals:

* Any time the employee was working--even that "work" was being on the phone to IT, tech support, managers, coworkers, etc., or trying to recover lost files, get the equipment to work, etc.--the employee should be paid. Work does not have to be productive to be work.

* However, a company has the right, going forward, to tell an employee to not come into work or perform work, if the company doesn't have work for him or her or he or she can't do the work for some reason or another. For example, as you're no doubt aware, companies can furlough employees when they don't have work or have down time. This means that the company could tell you not to work for certain days; you'd presumably have the choice of either having that be unpaid leave (like a furlough) or else using your vacation time for paid days.

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