Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is***** have over 13 years of legal and consulting experience in this area. I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
Under the law, unless they call you off of work (i.e., tell you not to come in) employers must pay employees who show up for work and sit and wait for something to do. They do not have to pay someone who is told not to come in because that person is not "working" as it is defined by the law. Sitting and waiting for customers while on the employer premises, however, is "work" as defined by the law. In your scenario, they had to pay this other person, but not you because the requirement to come into the premises. Likewise, it is not illegal for them to call one person off, but not the other, unless that decision was based on an illegal reason - such as your age, race, gender, disability or religious beliefs; the pay differential (e.g., they had the other hygienist come in because it was cheaper) is not illegal.
I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, ***** ***** wish you all the best with this matter.