Can a contract employee be obligated to work a full day without guaranteed pay?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a contract employee be obligated to work a full day without guaranteed pay?

We are contract employees that get paid only when we treat patients. The employer
is now asking us to be in the office for full days without guaranteed paid the
for the time we’re in the office regardless if there are patients or not.

Asked on July 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No. While you call yourself a "contract" employee, if you are required to stay at the employer's office (rather than being "on call" at home, free to do what you want as long as you can come in if and when called) and subject to that degree of employer control, you are simply an employee. Employees must be paid for all time working: and being at the employer's office when the employer tells you to be there is considered working even if you are not being productive, because you are going where the employer wants, when he wants, to do what he wants, and that is work. Therefore, you should be paid for the time you spend at the office, at an amount at least equal to your state's minimum wage. You may wish to contact the state department of labor to discuss fiing a wage and hour complaint.

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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