Show-Up Pay or Reporting Pay
Show-up pay is a form of premium pay and also referred to as reporting pay, reporting time pay or report-in pay. All terms mean a minimum specified amount in wages that employers owe to eligible employees for reporting to work on time as scheduled, when it turns out that there is little to no work available.
The purpose of show-up pay is to discourage employers from frivolously calling in workers for only partial workdays, when the workers might get more work hours elsewhere; but, not all employers must pay it.
That's because there is no Federal "show-up pay law" or "reporting pay law" per se, that requires employers to pay it. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the "main pay law" so to speak, because it regulates the minimum wage, overtime pay and equal pay at the Federal level; but, it does not require employers to provide employee show-up pay.
The FLSA requires employers to pay employees for the hours they actually worked, not for the hours they only intended to work. However, if employers require employees to stay on-site to wait for work, then, under FLSA regulations, employers might owe employees for their non-productive wait-time hours.
When provided, show-up pay is typically a matter of contractual agreement between employers and employees or employers and unions, which the FLSA allows. For example, a collective bargaining agreement might contractually require an employer to provide reporting pay to union-protected employees who normally work eight hours per day, when the employees end up working fewer than four hours due to lack of work.
In the absence of such an agreement, a state wage and hour law or a related rule, regulation or order might require employers to provide show-up pay; for example, at this writing:
For information about show-up pay legislation in your work state (if the legislation exists), browse the Web site of the relevant state labor department. Look for "wage and hour" topics or related matters. Alternately or additionally, browse the relevant state labor laws or consult a lawyer in your work state.
In the absence of an agreement or state legislation that requires show-up pay, employers might voluntarily provide it per company policy as a benefit to attract and retain employees, the same as they voluntarily provide other benefits not required by law.
If you're entitled to receive show-up pay through one of the means above, then FLSA regulations at least govern it as it applies to your overtime pay. The regulations prohibit your employer from using your show-up pay to offset your overtime pay. However, when calculating your overtime hours, your employer may omit the "no-work" hours for which you received show-up pay.
If your employer refuses to issue earned show-up pay to you on the payday when due, then the wage and hour (or equivalent) division of the state labor department might help you to collect it. However, if you're working under a collective bargaining agreement that requires show-up pay, then the state labor department might refer you to your union representative.
It might be a good idea anyway to check with your union representative about a wage and hour grievance procedure before involving the state labor department, as you might be contractually obligated to first follow the procedure. You might also have a stronger court or arbitration case, if it comes to that, if you first follow your union's grievance procedure; or your employer's, if you're not a union-protected employee.
Consult a lawyer for legal advice regarding show-up pay, reporting pay or other wage and hour matters. So-called wage and hour lawsuits are often class-actions that lawyers take on a contingency basis.