California law requires an employer to pay “reporting time pay.” When an "employee is required to report for work and does report, but is not put to work or is furnished less than half said employee’s usual or scheduled day’s work, the employee shall be paid for half the usual or scheduled day’s work, but in no event for less than two (2) hours nor more than four (4) hours, at the employee’s regular rate of pay, which cannot be less than the minimum wage.” See Wage Order 7-2001(5). For example, if an employee is scheduled to report to work for an eight-hour shift and only works for one hour, the employer is nonetheless obligated to pay the employee four hours of pay at his or her regular rate of pay (one for the hour worked, and three as reporting time pay).
The Court in Ward v. Tilly's, Inc. recently addressed the question of what "report for work" means in context of the existing law and concluded that an employee calling his/her employer triggers reporting time pay. The plaintiff in that case was required to contact the employer two hours before the start of her on-call shifts to determine if she was required to come into work for that shift. The Court determined that by virtue of plaintiff calling her employer, she was "reporting for work" and was entitled to get paid for half the scheduled day's work. This ruling is important because the court determined that the employee did not have to physically report to work to trigger the "report for work" requirements under the law.
If your employer requires you to call in prior to your shifts to determine whether you will be working that day, you may be entitled to compensation for unpaid wages. Give us a call at 818-405-0080 for a free consultation.