Reporting Time Pay

Reporting Time Pay is outlined in the California Wage Orders creating a requirement for employers to pay non-exempt employees for half of their scheduled shift, but no less than 2 hours and no more than 4 hours, when they report to work but are not put to work or are furnished less than half of their usual or scheduled shift, including termination situations.  Reporting Time Pay is to be paid at the employees’ regular rate of pay.  It is important for employers to be mindful of Reporting Time pay as it is a mandatory payment and failure to properly apply, can result in a violation.

Some examples of when employers may need to apply reporting time pay:

  • Employee reports to work at their scheduled time and they are terminated.  Further, such payment must be added to final wages which are due at the time of termination in California.
  • Employee reports to work and there is not enough work to be done. Employees sent home must be paid reporting time pay.
  • Employee reports to work for a meeting which does not go as long as scheduled.
  • Employee is sent home early due to dissatisfaction with their work performance.  Performing at a level the employer does not feel is acceptable does not create an exception to reporting time pay.

Examples of when employers may not need to apply reporting time pay:

  • Employee elects to leave early for personal reasons including illness.
  • Public utilities fail to provide, water, gas or electricity.
  • The ceasing of work is caused by an Act of God or otherwise out of the employers’ control.
  • Operations cannot commence due to threats toward employees or property or under the direction of Civil Authorities.

Consider assigning employees other tasks when work is slow; cleaning, shadowing others for cross-training and development, filing or organizing.  Due to Reporting Time Pay requirements, they will be paid anyhow so may as well get something done.

As a result of Reporting Time Pay requirements, it is important to ensure those processing payroll are properly informed when an employee is sent home early or when a termination will occur at the beginning of a shift so that wages paid can reflect not only hours worked but also Reporting Time Pay to comply with your Wage Order requirements.

Different requirements apply to exempt classified positions.

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