If the plantI workat breaks down regularly, can we stand in the parking lot for up to2 hours and notget paid?

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2011

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If the plantI workat breaks down regularly, can we stand in the parking lot for up to2 hours and notget paid?

Sometimes they say we are free to go but be back at a certain time. The closest store is 5 miles and home is 40 miles. It just seems unfair. Is this legal?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you are free to go, then it is legal to not pay you for that time. A worker must be paid for all time spent working, which includes time spent waiting at the work site without work to do, if the employee is required to stay there. But if the employee is told that he or she is free to go but to back later, then for the time they are free, employees don't need  to be paid. The fact that the plant you work at is isolated, instead of being in an urban area with more choices of what to do, does not change this rule.

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