Can my employer make me wait until its busy to clock in whenI show up on time for a scheduled shift?

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Can my employer make me wait until its busy to clock in whenI show up on time for a scheduled shift?

Or can they send me home and make me come back when its busy? I am paid hourly and usually get scheduled around 35 hours per week.

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The employer probably cannot make you wait at its premises or place of business, but keep you "off the clock." That's because whether you are actually "working" at the time, if your at the employer's place and waiting for the employer to direct you what to do, you *are* working from a legal point of view--you are doing what the employer directs you, and not free to do what you want.

However, unless you have a contract guarantying your shifts, the employer may send you home if it's not busy; employers have discretion to manage their workplaces and set to set employee hours. If it's not busy, they can ask you to leave (and therefore not pay you); then can then call you back in later.


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