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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Engaged to Wait

    My question involves employment and labor law for the state of: Alabama

    Hello I am seeking some advice in a possible "engaged to wait" situation. I work at a coffee shop that has a morning 7am - 2pm shift. Recently, myself and my coworkers (whoever is working the 7am-2pm shift that day of the week) have been coming into work at 7am for our salaried general manager forcing us to be in the shop but not allowed to clock in until the it is too busy for the GM to handle the work by herself. We have been forced to wait without pay over 4 to almost 5 hours at one time. After losing a significant amount of wages, I confronted my GM about the legality of her policy and she immediately yelled at me in front of a customer and then changed the schedule to cut almost all of my hours plus made sure I did not work with her. Is there anything I can do to fix this? Thank You!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Engaged to Wait

    The easiest approach is likely to make a wage complaint. You can also consult a local employment lawyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Il.(near StL,Mo.)

    Default Re: Engaged to Wait

    Agree, would file a wage claim/complaint. This sounds like hours worked.
    Waiting Time: Whether waiting time is hours worked under the Act depends upon the particular circumstances. Generally, the facts may show that the employee was engaged to wait (which is work time) or the facts may show that the employee was waiting to be engaged (which is not work time). For example, a secretary who reads a book while waiting for dictation or a fireman who plays checkers while waiting for an alarm is working during such periods of inactivity. These employees have been "engaged to wait."

    On-Call Time: An employee who is required to remain on call on the employer's premises is working while "on call." An employee who is required to remain on call at home, or who is allowed to leave a message where he/she can be reached, is not working (in most cases) while on call. Additional constraints on the employee's freedom could require this time to be compensated.

    DOL reg 29 C.F.R. 785.17 - an employee who is required to remain on call on the employer's premises or so close thereto that he cannot use the time effectively for his own purposes is working while on call.
    When an on-call employee is required to stay at the workplace or is so near the workplace that he cannot use his time freely, he is engaged to wait and must be compensated for this time.

    So if you are not allowed to leave or use the time for your own purposes, you must be paid for this time.

    You might consider applying for partial unemployment ins. if your hrs. are cut. You might also consider looking for other employment with more hours.

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