Overview: Sometimes, employees show up at work as scheduled but are sent home before they can perform any work. This is usually referred to as "show-up time" or "reporting time."
For example, consider a warehouse worker who arrives for work at 8:00 a.m., as instructed. However, the warehouse sends her home because the truck she was supposed to help unload would not arrive until the next day due to a breakdown.
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require employers to pay employees for this time. However, some states have laws and regulations requiring that employees be paid a certain amount if they report for duty but are not provided a full shift's worth of work.
Trends: Some employment contracts and collective bargaining agreements also require payment for show-up time / reporting time.
Author: Michael Cardman, Legal Editor
Updated to include information on the Long Beach recall and retention ordinances.
Updated to reflect information on a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling concerning show-up time / reporting time.
Updated to reflect the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, effective January 1, 2020.
Updated to reflect information on an Oregon Court of Appeals ruling concerning meal breaks.
Updated to reflect amendments to the show-up time / reporting time law, effective July 19, 2019.
Updated to reflect amendments to the show-up time / reporting time law in Rhode Island, effective July 19, 2019.
Chicago has passed the Fair Workweek Ordinance requiring employers to provide employees advance notice of work schedules and additional pay for schedule changes.
Updated to reflect a US Department of Labor (DOL) opinion letter concerning civic or charitable work.
The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) has decided to let its 2017 proposal for expanding the state's show-up time / reporting time requirements expire. However, the NYSDOL has not completely abandoned its intent to regulate employee scheduling, saying it will re-evaluate the issue in the future.
HR guidance on complying with state show-up time / reporting time laws.