Can my Employer Prevent me from Clocking in Until I am Needed?

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 30, 2018

Can my employer event me from clocking in? The restaurant business, and other kinds of service-oriented businesses, can be slow if there are no customers or very little traffic. But is your employer allowed to compensate for that lack of business by preventing you from clocking in until you are needed?

The employer/employee relationship is defined in part by having control over your schedule. Your employer is allowed to tell you when and where to work, and in exchange for giving up that freedom, you are given certain benefits and privileges, like being paid overtime and being given employment benefits.

This relationship also means that when you show up for your shift, your employer can’t make you wait to clock in or begin logging hours until there are more customers or there are more things to do. If you show up to a slow workday and your employer tells you to hang out until there are more customers, you should be paid for that time just as if you had been given any other job.

The only thing your employer can do to compensate for a lack of business is ask you to come in later ahead of time, or send you home early. But you must be allowed to clock in and claim wages if you are on site during a scheduled shift.

If this situation sounds familiar to you, you may have a claim against your employer for lost wages. These claims can be made through the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division. Collect as much relevant information about your situation as you can before making your claim, such as your schedule and your paycheck.

Call Miami Employment Lawyer Isaac Benmergui at 305.397.8547 and set up a no charge, no obligation consultation to discuss your case. We have over a decade of experience handling Employment Law and Civil Litigation cases throughout Miami and South Florida, and will use our expertise to help your case to the best of our abilities.

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