Q. Does California’s reporting-time pay law apply to workers who report to work but appear to be unable or unfit to work?
A. Under certain circumstances, the California Wage Orders require employers to payfor unworked but regularly scheduled time. Specifically the law requires the payment of reporting-time pay under the following circumstances:
The employee reports to work on a scheduled workday but is not put to work or is provided with less than half his or her usual or scheduled day’s work. In this case, the employee is entitled to the greater of half his or her usual or scheduled day’s work (up to four hours) or two hours of compensation at his or her regular rate of pay.
The employee reports to work a second time in a scheduled workday and is provided with less than two hours of work. The employee is entitled to two hours of regular pay.
There are several recognized exceptions to this requirement involving situations in which the employer’s failure to provide the employee with his or her scheduled amount of work is the result of causes beyond the employer’s control. One such example is if the employee reports to work unfit.
The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement has no clear standards to determine what qualifies as unfit. However, employees who are clearly intoxicated would probably be considered unfit to work.