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Reporting to Work and Being Sent Home: Understanding Reporting Time Pay under California Labor Laws


Reporting to work as scheduled, only to be sent home shortly after arriving, can be a frustrating experience for employees. However, under California labor laws, employees may be entitled to reporting time pay in certain situations. In this blog, we will delve into the concept of reporting time pay, its applicability, and the relevant regulations under California law.

What is Reporting Time Pay?

Reporting time pay refers to the compensation provided to non-exempt employees when they report to work as scheduled but are not provided with the expected amount of work. This compensation is intended to compensate employees for the inconvenience and financial loss associated with reporting to work but not being able to work the expected hours.

Applicability of Reporting Time Pay

In California, reporting time pay is governed by the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders, particularly Orders 4 and 7, which outline the regulations related to reporting time pay. These regulations apply to non-exempt employees who report to work as scheduled but are not put to work or are furnished with less than half of their usual or scheduled day's work.

It's essential to note that exempt employees, certain unionized employees, and employees in specific industries may be exempt from reporting time pay requirements.

Reporting Time Pay under California Labor Laws

Under California labor laws, the key provisions related to reporting time pay include:

  • Minimum Reporting Time Pay: If an employee is required to report to work and is furnished with less than half of their usual or scheduled day's work, they are entitled to reporting time pay. The amount of reporting time pay is generally half of the employee's scheduled or usual shift, with a minimum of two hours and a maximum of four hours of pay.

  • Exceptions: There are exceptions to the reporting time pay requirement, such as when operations cannot commence or continue due to threats to employees or property, or when public utilities fail to supply electricity, water, or gas, or there is a failure in the mechanical system.

  • Notification: Employers are required to provide advance notice to employees if their services are not needed and to inform them of the amount of work available, as this can impact the entitlement to reporting time pay.


In conclusion, understanding reporting time pay under California labor laws is crucial for both employers and employees. It ensures that employees are fairly compensated for their time and provides guidelines for employers to follow when scheduling and managing employee work hours.

Employees should be aware of their rights regarding reporting time pay, while employers should ensure compliance with the relevant regulations to avoid potential legal issues. By familiarizing themselves with these regulations, both parties can contribute to a fair and equitable work environment.

It's important to note that labor laws and regulations are subject to change, so it's advisable for both employers and employees to stay updated with the latest developments to ensure compliance with the law.

By adhering to the regulations and understanding the rights and obligations surrounding reporting time pay, both employers and employees can contribute to a fair and respectful work environment in accordance with California labor laws.


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