Whether or not you’re entitled to receive show-up pay due to lack of work, depends on whether or not you are working under an agreement, company policy or state wage and hour law (or a related rule, regulation, or order) that requires your employer to pay it to you.
Did you know? Show-up pay is a minimum amount in wages that an employer owes to an employee just for showing up on time for his or her scheduled work shift, when it turns out that there is little to no work to be had. Show-up pay is also referred to as reporting pay and variations.
There is no federal “show-up pay law” that requires employers to pay it. In fact, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is considered to be the “main pay law” because it regulates wage and hour matters from the federal level, does not require show-up pay. However, the FLSA permits employer-employee or employer-union agreements to require it.
For union-protected employees, collective bargaining agreements might arrange for them to receive show-up pay. A few states require it in the absence of agreements that do, including for non-union employees.
Even if not required to, an employer might provide show-up pay as a benefit per company policy to attract and retain employees. Most states consider company policies to be binding agreements (implied contracts) between employers and employees. Subsequently, if a company policy “promises” show-up pay to employees, then the employer likely must make good on the promise or suffer the legal consequences.
If you are entitled to receive show-up pay per an agreement, company policy or state law, then federal wage and hour regulations govern it as it applies to your overtime pay.
Under the federal regulations, your employer is prohibited from using your show-up pay to reduce the overtime pay you earned. However, when calculating your overtime hours, the regulations permit your employer to exclude the hours for which you received show-up pay for no work.
The Great Recession and its wake have made show-up pay more of an issue, from employers too often sending employees home without pay due to lack of work. For more information about show-up pay, including how to find out if your work state requires it, read “Show-Up Pay or Reporting Pay”.
Consult an attorney for legal advice about show-up pay.