California Reporting Time Pay Law: Scheduling Law

California Reporting Pay Time Law
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California’s First Scheduling Law

Although California legislatures are currently looking at a more comprehensive secure scheduling law, California already has a scheduling law on the books. The Reporting Time Pay law requires that California employers pay employees at least half of all scheduled shifts, even when canceled. However, there are certain exceptions to this law. The purpose of this article is to cover the Reporting Time Pay Law and provide an overview of how employers should maintain compliance.

Reporting Time Law Overview

The Reporting Time Law was created to provide employees with partial compensation for anticipated income when shifts were canceled or shortened. The law requires penalty to pay to employees when employers fail to adequately schedule shifts or fail to provide proper notice to the employee. The law applies to all non-exempt employees.

When an employee works a partial shift, employers are required to pay the hours worked by the employee and to pay income for a partially scheduled time that was unworked.

This pay of scheduled, unworked hours is called “reporting time pay.”  These additional hours of pay don’t count toward overtime as they are not actual worked hours.

When an employee is scheduled to work and the shift is canceled or shortened, then the employee must be paid for half of the scheduled shift. This means that if an employee works 2 hours out of a scheduled 8-hour shift, the employee would be paid for the 2 worked hours and another 2 hours of “reporting time pay.” This is a total of 4 hours of pay or half of the employee’s scheduled time.

Reporting time pay only pays up to 4 hours of pay in a single shift. Thus if an employee is scheduled to work 10 hours and the shift is canceled, the employee still only gets paid a total of 4 hours for the canceled shift.

In addition, the employee must be paid for a minimum of 2 hours for a canceled or shortened shift.

Employees who are scheduled to work a second time in a day must be paid at least 2 hours of pay for the second shift. This is applicable even if the second shift is for less than 2 hours.

  • Reporting time is a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 4 hours
  • Total wages include worked wages and reporting time and are to be ½ of the scheduled shift
  • A second shift in the day pays a minimum of 2 additional hours.
  • Reporting time pay does not count toward overtime hours worked.

Exceptions to Reporting Time

Employers have a few exceptions to Reporting Time Pay. These exceptions include first when the business operations cannot begin or continue because of threats to the employees or to the property. This includes when civil authorities recommend that work not continue or begin.

Secondly, anytime that public utilities fail. This includes when electricity, water, gas are not supplied or if there is a public utility failure.

Third, any act of God, such as a natural disaster provides an exception to employers paying reporting time. Lastly, if the employee is scheduled for less than two hours or is on a paid standby status, then reporting time does not apply.

Additionally, if an employee requests to leave for personal reasons, the missed hours do not fall under reporting time. Any time an employee voluntarily leaves work early, reporting time does not apply. Reporting Time Pay only applies when the employee expected to work and the employer failed to provide work for the employee.

  • Threats to employees or to the facility
  • When civil authorities recommend that work not continue or begin
  • When public utilities fail
  • An Act of God including natural disaster, flooding, fire, earthquakes and so on.
  • When the employee voluntarily leaves work.

Important Information Regarding Reporting Time

There are some areas that California employers have faced non-compliance issues. One situation that occurs is when an employee is sent home due to a discipline issue or unsatisfactory work. In this case, the employee must still be paid for half of their scheduled shift, up to four hours. This is because the employer is the party that chose to send the employee home.

Secondly, remember that reporting time does not count toward overtime as it is not actual time worked. Thus an employee can be paid for more than 40 hours in a week at their regular rate if the additional hours over 40 were reporting time pay.

Third, an employee that works more than half of their originally scheduled shift is entitled to additional reporting time pay.

Reporting time pay should not be administered on a manual level. California labor law increases the fines for noncompliance with this law and it is costly for any business found in violating the law.

Let SwipeClock Help

Employee wages are single biggest expense that most businesses face. These costs rise when poor scheduling creates Reporting Time Pay for California employers.

Fortunately, SwipeClock provides the software for employee optimization. Managers can schedule employees more effectively, which minimizes canceled shifts and reporting time expenses.

In addition, California employers also have to comply with the state’s sick leave laws, FMLA lawslocal leave laws, and local scheduling ordinances. SwipeClock can automatically track employee hours worked and automatically accrue paid leave. This minimizes human error and reduces regulatory fines to the overseeing agencies.

Additionally, these businesses have to also comply with Federal Overtime Laws, the Family Medical Leave Act and any other national or local laws that are enacted. SwipeClock provides a comprehensive array of workforce management and time tracking tools that can help businesses to more easily stay in compliance with local and national laws.

Records are effortlessly kept for years and accrual is automatically tracked and reported to employees according to the state and city laws. Additionally, with geo-timekeeping clocks, businesses can effortlessly track time worked in specific cities to ensure compliance.


Written by Annemaria Duran. Last updated October 12, 2017

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