As many states ease their shelter-in-place orders across the country, businesses are slowly reopening to the public. Although businesses are anxious to open their doors, as employers, they are grappling with how to comply with local requirements and precautions for reopening. Many employers are required to, or may want to, take employees’ temperatures before the start of a shift or have employees complete a health screening process before reporting to work.
But, what if an employee shows up to work his or her scheduled shift, and a temperature check reveals a fever, or the employee otherwise exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, or the employee does not pass the health screening? Of course, the business would ask the employee to go home. However, this presents a question of wage and hour law: must the employer pay that employee because he or she reported to work and was sent home?
Eight states plus the District of Columbia have varying degrees of what is commonly referred to as “Reporting Time Pay.” Generally, Reporting Time Pay kicks in when an employee must report for work and does report, but is not put to work or is sent home before completing at least half of his or her scheduled shift. Consequently, employers in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C., may be facing minimum pay requirements for sending employees home for exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. In the remaining 42states there is no statutory requirement to pay an employee for any minimum amount of time for simply reporting for duty.
Even in those jurisdictions that do impose Reporting Time Pay requirements, it is not always clear whether being sent home due to exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will trigger an obligation to pay. While some states like Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island leave no doubt that Reporting Time Pay is owed, others like New York are more complicated, or even provide arguably applicable exceptions to Reporting Time Pay, similar to California, Connecticut, and Oregon. Before an employer decides not to pay for Reporting Time Pay in one of these jurisdictions when sending an employee home with visible COVID-19 symptoms, an employer should consult with counsel to review the facts against any applicable exceptions and cautiously weigh the risks.
The following provides a brief overview of the nine jurisdictions with Reporting Time Pay requirements.
All California employees who report for work are entitled to be paid for half of their scheduled shifts. The Reporting Time Pay must be at least two hours, but no more than four hours of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay.1However, this requirement does not apply when: (1) operations cannot commence or continue due to threats to employees or property; or when recommended by civil authorities; or (2) public utilities fail to supply electricity, water, or gas, or there is a failure in the public utilities, or sewer system; or (3) the interruption of work is caused by an Act of God or other cause not within the employer’s control.2While a California employer could argue that an employee’s visible symptoms of COVID-19 are a “cause not within the employer’s control,” the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has published FAQs that suggest otherwise. Regardless, any employer who relies on this exception must be prepared to prove that the exception applies (i.e., that the employer sent the employee home because the employee exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 and that the employee’s condition was “beyond the employer’s control”). Reliance on this exception requires at least two things: First, the employer will need to retain evidence that the employee exhibited symptoms of COVID, which could trigger privacy and HIPAA concerns related to collection and preservation of evidence. Second, the employer may need to rebut an argument that the employee contracted the illness at work because the employer failed to adequately disinfect or to adequately monitor and enforce social distancing requirements. If the employee could have contracted COVID-19 either at work or outside of work, the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board will more often than not conclude that any illness was contracted at work.3 This policy would undercut the employer’s argument that the employee’s illness was something “beyond the employer’s control.” Therefore, it may be more cost effective to simply pay the reporting time pay than to pay for the cost of litigation and risk both having to pay the reporting time pay and associated penalties (including possible exposure under California’s Private Attorneys’ General Act (PAGA)).
In Connecticut, Reporting Time Pay requirements only apply to employees in the mercantile (retail) or hospitality/restaurant industries. Mercantile industry employees reporting for duty on any day must be compensated for a minimum of four hours’ earnings at their regular rate.4The only exception to this rule is if the employee, and employer, previously agree in writing to regularly scheduled employment of less than four hours, and the Connecticut Department of Labor approves, then this requirement may be waived provided the minimum daily pay in every instance is at least twice the applicable minimum hourly rate.5
Hospitality/restaurant employees are only entitled to a minimum of two hours’ pay. However, if the hospitality/restaurant employee is unwilling or unable to work for the number of hours necessary to insure the two-hour guarantee, a statement signed by the employee supporting this situation must be obtained and retained in the employee’s personnel file.6While an employer may argue that an employee who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms is “unable to work,” it is the view of the Connecticut Department of Labor that because a temperature check or health screening time is compensable, it necessarily triggers the Reporting Time Pay obligation. Accordingly, if a hospitality industry employee reports to work, but exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and is asked to go home, he or she is entitled to two hours of pay.
Employers in Connecticut should work with counsel to determine whether their business is considered part of the mercantile or hospitality industries and whether Reporting Time Pay requirements are triggered under specific scenarios.
District of Columbia
In our nation’s capital, Reporting Time Pay requirements apply to all employees regardless of industry: employees must receive at least four hours of pay for reporting to work if the employee is given less than four hours of work that day.7If the employee is regularly scheduled for less than four hours a day, then the employee must be paid for those hours regularly scheduled, but not provided.8Accordingly, if an employee reports to work, but exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and is asked to go home, he or she is entitled to four hours of pay (or the equivalent of their scheduled shift if less than four hours). The caveat here may be that if an employee has already worked at least four hours, and is thereafter sent home, the Reporting Time Pay obligation is not triggered. Employers in D.C. should consult with counsel to weigh the risks related to Reporting Time Pay for employees sent home after completing at least four hours of work.
If an employee in Massachusetts is scheduled to work three or more hours, and is not provided with the expected hours of work, the employee is entitled to at least three hours of pay.9The only exception tothis requirement is for charitable organization employers with approved 501(c)(3) status.10Accordingly, if an employee reports to work, but exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and is asked to go home, he or she is entitled to three hours of pay (unless the shift had been scheduled for less than three hours).
A New Hampshire employee is entitled to Reporting Time Pay of no less than two hours at his or her regular rate of pay.11The only exemption from this rule applies to employees of counties or municipalities, or ski and snowboard instructional employees at ski resorts, provided these employees meet other compensation requirements.12There are no further exceptions. Accordingly, if an employee reports to work, but exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and is asked to go home, he or she is entitled to two hours of pay.
A New Jersey employee reporting for duty must be paid for at least one hour of work, unless the employer has made available to the employee the minimum number of hours of work previously agreed upon for that day.13There are no further exceptions. Accordingly, if an employee reports to work, but exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and is asked to go home, he or she is entitled to one hour of pay.
For all New York employees other than those in the hospitality industry, if the employee reports to work and is sent home, the employee is entitled to at least four hours of pay, or the number of hours in the regularly scheduled shift, whichever is less, at the basic minimum hourly wage.14Accordingly, if an employee reports to work, but exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and is asked to go home he or she is entitled to four hours of pay. Here, however, the employee must be compensated at his or her regular rate of pay for all time actually worked, but may be compensated at the base minimum hourly wage for any hours not spent working to make up the time difference to the four-hour guarantee.
As for New York hospitality employees, Reporting Time Pay depends on the number of shifts the employee is scheduled to work on a particular day. A hospitality employee is entitled to his or her applicable wage rate for: (1) at least three hours for one shift, or the number of hours in the regularly scheduled shift, whichever is less; (2) at least six hours for two shifts totaling six hours or less, or the number of hours in the regularly scheduled shift, whichever is less; and (3) at least eight hours for three shifts totaling eight hours or less, or the number of hours in the regularly scheduled shift, whichever is less.15The applicable wage rate includes: (1) payment for the time of actual attendance (hours actually worked) calculated at the employee's regular or overtime rate of pay, whichever is applicable, minus any customary and usual tip credit; and (2) payment for the balance of the period calculated at the basic minimum hourly rate withno tip credit subtracted.16Accordingly, if a hospitality employee reports to work, but exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and is asked to go home, he or she is entitled to a number of hours of pay depending on how many shifts they were scheduled for that day.
New York employers should consult with counsel to determine whether their business is considered part of the hospitality industry and whether Reporting Time Pay requirements are triggered under specific scenarios.
Oregon is the least restrictive of the nine jurisdictions with Reporting Time Pay requirements. In fact, Oregon’s Reporting Time Pay only applies to minors under age 18.17For minor employees who report to work, Oregon requires that the employer provide “reasonable compensation” to the minor who is not provided with at least half the scheduled shift.18Like California, Oregon also provides an exception to this rule when “circumstances beyond the employer’s control prevent the performance of the work the minor was to perform.”19The Oregon employer would be similarly hard pressed to argue that the minor’s COVID-19 symptoms were out of its control if the minor contracted the virus while at work for the employer. Accordingly, it may be more cost effective to simply pay the Reporting Time Pay than endure the risk of litigation and/or any associated penalties. Oregon employers of minors should consult with counsel determine whether Reporting Time Pay requirements are triggered under specific scenarios.
Similar to Connecticut and Massachusetts, Rhode Island requires that employees receive a minimum of three hours of Reporting Time Pay (or amount of time expected if the shift was previously agreed to be less than 3 hours by both the employee and employer).20The only exception to this rule applies to students enrolled full-time at Rhode Island colleges or universities who are also employees of the college or university (provided they meet further shift-length requirements).21There are no further exceptions. Accordingly, if an employee reports to work, but exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 and is asked to go home, he or she is entitled to three hours of pay.
When in doubt, if an employee is sent home for exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, employers in one of these nine jurisdictions should consider paying for the minimum Reporting Time Pay owed in their state, even if an exception might apply. Employers should consult with counsel before deciding to withhold Reporting Time Pay under any exception.
The jurisdictions that do have reporting-time pay laws are: California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (minors only), and Rhode Island.What is the reporting time pay law in NY? ›
“An employee who by request or permission of the employer reports for work on any day shall be paid for at least four hours, or the number of hours in the regularly scheduled shift, whichever is less, at the basic minimum hourly wage.”What is reporting time pay in CT? ›
Show up or reporting time. Mercantile trade employers, which includes retail establishments, must pay employees for a minimum of four (4) hours at their regular rate regardless of the number of hours actually worked if the employees are required by or received permission from the employer to show up or report to work.What is reporting time pay in California? ›
"Reporting time pay” is a form of wages that compensate employees who are scheduled to report to work but who are not put to work or furnished with less than half of their usual or scheduled day's work because of inadequate scheduling or lack of proper notice by the employer.What is an example of reporting time pay? ›
The difference between the number of hours that you actually worked and the full 2 hours is your reporting time pay. For example: After being told to go home from his regularly scheduled shift because business was slow, Kevin is called back to work at 6pm.What state is it illegal to ask about current salary? ›
Here are the states with state-wide salary history bans: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania (state agencies only), Vermont, Virginia and Washington.Do I have to give in timesheets to get paid? ›
Many employers struggle to get their employees to turn in their timesheets on time and without errors, but wage-payment laws require employers to pay employees for all hours worked on regularly scheduled paydays set by the employer. Failure to turn in a timesheet does not warrant an exception to these laws.Can my employer pay me late in New York? ›
Employers are required to pay their employees within seven days of their pay period, whether weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Although some exceptions exist, most employers cannot allow themselves to be late with paying their employees. Despite this, many New York employers do not pay their workers on time.Can I sue my employer for paying me late in New York? ›
Late Final Paycheck in New York
If your employer has failed to pay your final paycheck on time, you can file a claim with the state Department of Labor's Division of Labor Standards. If successful, you'll be entitled to the money you're owed and perhaps additional damages from your employer.
Show up or reporting time. Florida law does not require employers to pay employees for reporting or showing up to work if no work is performed. An employer is also not required to pay an employee a minimum number of hours if the employer dismisses the employee from work prior to completing their scheduled shift.
Breaks lasting from five to 20 minutes are considered part of the workday, for which employees must be paid. Employers do not have to pay for bona fide meal breaks, during which the employee is relieved of all duties for the purpose of eating a meal.What is the longest shift you can legally work in CT? ›
While many states also have a restriction on daily overtime, Connecticut doesn't specify any number of hours as a daily limit. Meaning — employees can't expect to be compensated at a higher rate for working more than 8 hours per day. In Connecticut, overtime is set to 1.5 times the regular rate of pay.What is the shortest shift you can legally work? ›
California's 4-hour minimum shift law necessitates that companies pay workers who show up to work but are not permitted to work their full shifts. This rule is also known as California's Reporting Time Pay Law.Is it legal to get paid $14 an hour in California? ›
Minimum wage laws protect employees by making sure that employers pay a minimum hourly rate for all the hours that employees work. In California, the state minimum wage in 2021 is $14 if you work for an employer with 26 or more employees, and $13 an hour if you work for an employer with 25 or less employees.What are the exceptions for reporting time pay in California? ›
Exceptions to Reporting Time Pay in California
If you leave your shift early on your own accord, you're not entitled to reporting time pay. For example, if you aren't feeling well within the first hour of your shift and decide to leave, your employer does not owe you reporting time pay.
While workers appreciate getting paid more frequently, employers must also consider the expenses associated with the four common types of pay schedules: weekly, biweekly, semi-monthly and monthly.What is the meaning of reporting time? ›
Reporting Time . The time an employee is to begin work. On the Clock: A reference made to an employee who is on scheduled or unscheduled paid time.What are examples of payment for time not worked? ›
Benefits for time not worked such as unemployment insurance, vacation and holiday pay, and sick pay. Common pay for time not worked includes, for instance, unemployment insurance, holidays, and sick leave.Can employers ask for current salary in California? ›
An employer may ask an applicant for his or her salary expectations for the position, as distinguished from asking what the applicant earned in the past. Section 432.3, as amended, defines “applicant” to mean someone seeking employment with the employer who is not currently employed with that employer.What states require pay transparency? ›
States that have enacted laws include: California, Colorado, Connecticut*, Maryland*, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington.
As of January 2021, nineteen American states and twenty-one American municipalities have adopted some form of a salary history ban. The first salary history ban was passed in Massachusetts in August 2016. Salary history bans forbid employers from asking candidates their salary histories.Can my employer refuse to pay me if I forgot to clock in? ›
Your employer must still pay you for your time worked even if you forgot to clock in or out. The law is on your side, and your employer must pay you for the time that you said you worked. The only way your employer can get out of paying for those hours is by proving that you didn't work that many hours.Can an employer require you to be 15 minutes early? ›
So, if you specifically require your nonexempt employees to be at work 15 minutes prior to their start time, that time likely is considered working time under the FLSA, and you should pay them for that time spent waiting to begin work.Is a timesheet a legal document? ›
The simplest answer would be yes, timesheets are a legally required document. Employers have to keep accurate records of employee work hours as part of the requirements for recordkeeping from the Federal Law.How many days in a row can you work without a day off in NY? ›
Here's everything you need to know about how many days in a row you can work in New York. The New York State Labor Law mandates certain employees to have one day of rest in a calendar week. Such employees may only work for six days in a row in a week.What will minimum wage be in 2023 in NYS? ›
This rule implies a combined growth rate of 7.5 percent and a minimum wage of $14.20 for the Upstate area for the 2023 calendar year, after rounding to the nearest 5 cents. *Values for 2022 and 2023 are based on the combined annual growth in the CPI-W and labor productivity through June 30 of the preceding year.How many hours can you work in a day legally in NY? ›
There are no limits on: The number of work hours per day (except for children under 18)What happens if my employer didn't pay me on payday in NY? ›
You can get help to recover unpaid or withheld wages, including illegal deductions, by filing a claim with the State. Get help from the New York State Department of Labor. Staff is available through the automated phone system during business hours.How long does an employer have to correct a paycheck error in New York? ›
The 15 days begins on the day the employer receives a notification in writing from the employee. You can check your state's department of labor website to learn about the labor laws that apply to your business.What can I do if my employer keeps paying me late? ›
Contact your employer (preferably in writing) and ask for the wages owed to you. If your employer refuses to do so, consider filing a claim with your state's labor agency. File a suit in small claims court or superior court for the amount owed.
Three Hour Rule: An employee who regularly works more than three hours a day and is required to report to work but works less than three hours, despite being available to work longer, is entitled to be paid a minimum of three hours' pay at the employee's regular rate.Does Florida have a $15 dollar minimum wage? ›
Flashback: Florida voters approved a mandate in 2020 to make the minimum wage $15 by 2026 — so it will increase by a dollar on Sept. 30 every year until then. Starting in 2027, the minimum wage will be adjusted each year for inflation.Is it illegal to work 8 hours without a break in Florida? ›
Florida employers are not legally required to offer rest breaks. However, many employers do offer rest breaks as a matter of custom or policy. If the employer elects to provide a rest break, then federal law requires employers to pay employees for short breaks of up to 20 minutes.Can I refuse a lunch break in CT? ›
State law requires employers to offer at least one 30-minute meal break to employees who work 7 ½ consecutive hours or more. The break must occur sometime after two hours and before 5 ½ hours.
Under Connecticut law, employees who work seven-and-a-half or more consecutive hours must be given a break of at least 30 consecutive minutes for a meal. The break must be given at some point after the first two hours of work and before the last two hours.Do you get a 15 minute break for working 4 hours in CT? ›
15 minute break for 4-6 consecutive hours or a 30 minute break for more than 6 consecutive hours. If an employee works 8 or more consecutive hours, the employer must provide a 30-minute break and an additional 15 minute break for every additional 4 consecutive hours worked. Applies to retail establishments.Is it legal to work 7 days a week in CT? ›
An employer can't “compel” or force an employee to work more than six days in a row in any calendar week. And an employer can't fire an employee who refuses to work on the seventh day.What is minimum wage in CT? ›
Connecticut's minimum wage will increase from $14 per hour to $15 per hour today. Connecticut's minimum wage will increase from $14 per hour to $15 per hour today. In May 2019, Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation to increase the state's minimum wage from $10.10 per hour to $15 with annual increases until 2023.Does CT pay time and a half on Sundays? ›
Connecticut's Overtime Pay
No requirement to pay overtime on a daily basis, weekends, or holidays except by agreement. There are some specific exceptions to overtime pay.
Yes, you can send employees home early due to a lack of work. Exempt employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (not entitled to overtime) would need to be paid their entire salary for the day. Non-exempt employees (those eligible for overtime) would generally only need to be paid for actual hours worked.
Generally, workers can legally work up to 24 hours in a single day. However, there are some exceptions, such as workers who are: in a regulated industry, like trucking, under the age of 16, or.How do you say no to pick up a shift? ›
- Confirm your schedule. ...
- Ask to have a conversation. ...
- Give as much notice as possible. ...
- Acknowledge your obligation. ...
- Provide a reason. ...
- Plan ahead for your workload. ...
- Offer to make up the time. ...
- Understand the consequences.
How much does a $20 An Hour make in California? As of May 28, 2023, the average annual pay for the $20 An Hour jobs category in California is $36,961 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $17.77 an hour. This is the equivalent of $710/week or $3,080/month.Can you live on your own making $14 an hour? ›
This is not a livable wage. If you are in high school or college and have support from your parents, then this is great spending money for you. However, if you are making it on your own, $14 per hour will not make ends meet each month.What state has highest minimum wage? ›
- Washington: $15.74. Living wage: $19.58.
- California: $15.50. Living wage: $21.24.
- Massachusetts: $15. Living wage: $21.35.
- New York: $14.20. Living wage: $21.46.
- New Jersey: $14.13. Living wage: $18.71.
A. Yes, you are entitled to one hour of reporting time pay. Under the law, if an employee is required to report to work a second time in any one workday and is furnished less than two hours of work on the second reporting, he or she must be paid for two hours at his or her regular rate of pay.Which states have server wages? ›
In the state of Alaska, California, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, same minimum wage are applied for both tipped and non-tipped employees.What states are doing salary transparency laws? ›
- California – All employers.
- Colorado – All employers.
- Connecticut – All employers.
- Maryland – All employers.
- Nevada – All employers.
- Jersey City, NJ - Employers with five or more employees.
- NY (eff. ...
- Cincinnati, OH and Toledo, OH - Employers with 15 or more employees.
Show up or reporting time. Texas law does not require employers to pay employees for reporting or showing up to work if no work is performed. An employer is also not required to pay an employee a minimum number of hours if the employer dismisses the employee from work prior to completing their scheduled shift.Does PA have reporting time pay? ›
Under Pennsylvania law, an employer must pay for travel time if an employee is required to report to the employer's establishment to clock in, load up, etc. If an employee leaves directly from home to the job site or vice versa it is not paid time.
Federal law sets the minimum base wage at $2.13 per hour, but many states mandate a higher level. In some states, employers must pay tipped employees the full state minimum wage before tips.What states pay servers 2.13 an hour? ›
|Jurisdiction||Basic Combined Cash & Tip Minimum Wage Rate||Minimum Cash Wage 1|
|State||2022 Minimum Hourly Wage||2023 Minimum Hourly Wage|
|California||$14.00 for employers with 25 or less workers; $15.00 for larger businesses.||$15.50 for all employers.|
The law states that any employer with “15 or more employees” must include “the pay scale for a position in any job posting.” The Labor Commissioner's office, which is charged with enforcing this part of the law, has further guidance on its website about how it interprets this.How many states have the Equal Pay Act? ›
How Many States Have Equal Pay Laws? As of 2022, 42 states have enacted equal pay laws, acts or statutes; however, it's important to note that all 49 states and the District of Columbia fall under The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits pay discrimination on the basis of sex.What does the Equal Pay Act say? ›
The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. Job content (not job titles) determines whether jobs are substantially equal.Is it illegal to work 8 hours without a break Texas? ›
Since there are no Texas labor laws on breaks, there's no requirement for a certain number of breaks during a 7- to 8-hour shift. That said, it's common for workplaces to provide one 30-minute meal break and two 15-minute rest breaks in that time.Is it illegal to get paid under the table in Texas? ›
Because employers who pay cash under the table forego their tax and insurance liabilities, paying employees cash under the table is illegal. Employers who pay employees under the table do not comply with employment laws.Are 15 minute breaks required by law in Texas? ›
In Texas, there are no labor laws in breaks, so employees do not have a right to breaks and employers are not required to provide a certain number of breaks even during a 12-hour shift. However, it is common for workplaces to provide one meal break (30 mins.) and two rest breaks (15 mins. each) during a shift.How many days can you work without a day off in Pennsylvania? ›
How many days can you work without a day off in Pennsylvania? Employees in Pennsylvania are allowed to work for seven consecutive days without a day off, as per Pennsylvania labor law. However, once seven days have passed, the employer is required to provide a day off to the employees.
Beginning January 1, 2021, employees who are working or teleworking and have an COVID-19 related absence may be eligible to: Use up to 10 days of COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick Leave. Use anticipated paid leave. Use unpaid leave before exhausting their paid leave entitlements.