Question from a client:

Can we send employees home early because there isn’t any work to do?



Yes, you can send employees home early due to a lack of work. Just keep in mind that exempt employees would need to be paid their entire salary for the day. Non-exempt employees would only need to be paid for actual hours worked, unless you operate in a state with reporting time pay requirements.

If you do operate in a state with reporting time pay requirements, employees may be entitled to reporting time pay for a certain number of hours even if they just show up and do no (or very little) actual work. This pay requirement is intended to lessen wage loss that is not the fault of the employee, as well as encourage employers to not over-schedule, since over-scheduling and then cancelling shifts causes employees to waste time and resources getting to work. Given this, some employers decide to keep employees on the clock for more or all of their shift even though business is slow.

States with reporting time pay include California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon (for minors), and Rhode Island; the District of Columbia also has reporting time pay.


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