Sending email report before scheduled work period

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Sending email report before scheduled work period

I am normally 9-6 w an hour lunch. Recently, I’ve been asked to send a report that is sent at 8 am. My employer is asking me to use my personal computer to send the email which takes about 30 mins 7:30-8. they want to allow me to leave at 5:30 but I was wondering if that time between 8-9 should be compensated for as well? Or is this legal to make me work for 30 min in the morning and then have an hour off to commute to work?

Asked on October 27, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Any time spent performing work duties is time that an employee must be compensated for; this is true whether or not this work was done at the office, home or elsewhere. That having been said, if you are a salaried employee, then this time is included in your wages. If, however, you are paid hourly, then you need to be paid for this additional time. Further, if this extra time puts you over 40 hours in your work week, then you can be paid for it as overtime.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your scheduled work time has nothing to do with your compensible time; nor does whether you use their computer or yours, or work onsite or off. If your employer instructs you to write and send a report or email, that is work, and you must be paid for all time spend doing it, as you are paid for all time spend working (assuming you are hourly; if you are salaried, then you are paid the same weekly salary regardless of how many hours you work). 
So say you draft and send the report from 7:30 to 8; work from from, say, 9 to 12:30; take an hour for lunch; then work from 1:30 to 5:30--you would have worked 8 hours and should be paid for 8 hours. If you worked instead to 6, you worked--and should be paid for--8.5 hours.


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