If the plantI workat breaks down regularly, can we stand in the parking lot for up to2 hours and notget paid?

Sometimes they say we are free to go but be back at a certain time. The closest store is 5 miles and home is 40 miles. It just seems unfair. Is this legal?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you are free to go, then it is legal to not pay you for that time. A worker must be paid for all time spent working, which includes time spent waiting at the work site without work to do, if the employee is required to stay there. But if the employee is told that he or she is free to go but to back later, then for the time they are free, employees don't need  to be paid. The fact that the plant you work at is isolated, instead of being in an urban area with more choices of what to do, does not change this rule.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.