What are the requirements to be on premises if you are only paid by appointment only?

I work as a massage therapist and at my current job, we are only paid by appointment (i.e. no appointment, no pay). My bosses don’t allow oncall and require us to be on premises for the duration of our shift. We are only allowed to leave at the top of the hour if no appointment has been scheduled but we have to be back in 45 minutes to check in even if nothing else has been scheduled or we can be written up. The excuse for this is we are given sit pay if we dont average 10/hr at the end of payroll. This hasn’t been issued to anyone in years, so we end up being forced to sit up to 15 hours a week unpaid, sometimes for entire shifts, stuck in our small rooms or break room. Basically Im wondering if this is really legal or if we have the right to leave and only come in when we have an appointment scheduled. Every other job allowed us to go oncall and the front desk would call or text us if we got scheduled, this is the first time that I’ve encountered this.

Asked on June 4, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You employer sets the rules for when you have to be present at work or not, they can require your presence on premises.
You must be paid at least minimum wage for all the hours/time you work during a work week. Say you earn $30 for an appointment and have 25 appointments per week taking up 20 hours of time, so you earn $750 per week. Even if you work 40 hours including your time spent just waiting, you are earning much more than minimum wage and your employer is in compliance. If you only had 6 appointments in a week ($150) but worked 40 hours, the employer would have to pay you extra to bring you up to the equivalent of minimum wage.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You employer sets the rules for when you have to be present at work or not, they can require your presence on premises.
You must be paid at least minimum wage for all the hours/time you work during a work week. Say you earn $30 for an appointment and have 25 appointments per week taking up 20 hours of time, so you earn $750 per week. Even if you work 40 hours including your time spent just waiting, you are earning much more than minimum wage and your employer is in compliance. If you only had 6 appointments in a week ($150) but worked 40 hours, the employer would have to pay you extra to bring you up to the equivalent of minimum wage.


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