If I’m scheduled to work a 5 hr shift and when I show up on time they make me sit there off the clock until I’m needed is this legal? I live in Pennsylvania

My employer makes me sit off clock
until were busy even tho I’m
scheduled for a set shift

Asked on January 2, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

This is not in any way legal. If you reported to your place of employment at your scheduled time ready and able to perform your work duties and was required to remain on the premises by you employer, then that contitutes compensable work time. Therefore, whether or not you were actually doing your job or just waitng to do it does not matter. In the eyes of the law you were "working" and need to be paid for this time. At this point, you can file a wage complaint with your state's department of labor.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal. ALL time you are at work and cannot leave or go/do whatever you want is work time--you are being told what to do and where to stay for the employer's convenience. "Work" is being at the location the employer tells you to be, doing what the employer wants/tells you to do, even you are not doing productive work at the time. So if the employer tells you sit and do nothing, if you are an hourly employee, that is work for which you must be paid. If the employer thinks there is not enough work for you, they can call you in the morning and tell you to come in later, or send you home early--that's legal. But any time you are at work and subject to the employer's authority, you are working and must be paid. Based on what you write, you appear to have a wage-and-hour complaint and should contact the department of labor.

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