With planned power shut-offs developing across California in attempt to avoid wildfires, employers are wondering how they are to compensate their nonexempt (hourly) employees when businesses are unable to be open for work due to power failures.
In general, employers are obligated to pay “reporting time pay” to hourly employees when these employees are required to report for work and aren’t provided at least half of their usual hours for the day. An employer must pay the greater of half of their scheduled day (up to four hours) or, at minimum, two hours at their regular rate of pay.
However, employers are not required to pay hourly employees if any one of the following exemptions applies:
Should a business encounter a power failure during a workday, hourly employees should be compensated for their hours worked.
Laws concerning pay deductions for exempt (salaried) employees differ. Deductions may not be made for time when work is not available if the employee is ready, willing and able to work.
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