Am I allowed to leave my place of work if no ones there to let me in?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Am I allowed to leave my place of work if no ones there to let me in?

That might be a confusing way to word it. I work in a
small family owned restaurant Im not a part of the
family, and it seems as though Im always the first
one to arrive and I end up having to wait a while
outside the restaurant for someone to come unlock
the door. Sadly, the owner doesnt have enough keys
to let me have one, so Im left to wait. My question is
how long do I have to wait for someone to show up
before I can leave?

Asked on February 5, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If and when you can leave is up to your employer. So you'll need to get clarification on this matter form them. That having been said, if you show up to your workplace for your scheduled shift, ready and able to perform your job duties, then you must be paid for the time that your are forced to wait to get in.

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 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.

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