Can an employer keep you from clocking in at your scheduled time?

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Can an employer keep you from clocking in at your scheduled time?

I live in Georgia and work at a resteraunt chain, and management often will force us to sit and wait until business picks up, often for one to two hours past when we are scheduled to clock in.

Asked on August 10, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you are at your place of work at your scheduled time and are ready and able to perform the duties of your job, then this is work time so you must be paid for it. This is true whether or not your employer permits you to clock in. The fact is that an employer cannot make a worker wait but keep them "off the clock". Whether an employee is actually engaging in their job duties, if they are at their workplace waiting for their employer to direct them as to what to do and they are not free to do leave, this is time that is to be paid. Consequently, if your employer does not want to compensate pay you for such time, then they can let you go home but if you are required to remain at work waiting, then you are to be paid.


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