California Employment Law

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California Employment Law
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I work at a major retail store. Often, the managers want to

cut hours after the schedules...
I work at a major retail store. Often, the managers want to cut hours after the schedules have been issued. For example, a manager will ask if you will leave your shift early or call you at home to tell you that you do not have to come in. Some employees feel pressured to leave or not come in even though they need the work hours to pay their bills. Management will say it's voluntary but some people worry that if they don't comply when asked that they may be assigned fewer hours in the future or be viewed as uncooperative and receive lower raises, etc.

I found a publication on the CA Labor Commission website that addresses Employee Rights. It states: "Here are some rights that protect your working conditions: #7: The right to be paid every time your employer asks you to report to work: Each workday you are required to report for work and you do report, but you are not put to work or you are furnished less than half of your usual or scheduled day’s work, you shall be paid for half the usual or scheduled day’s work, but in no event for less than two hours nor more than four hours, at your regular rate of pay."

Does this mean that if you "volunteer" to go home before your shift is over, you should be paid a minimum of 2 hours or up to 4 hours? Or if you volunteer to go home or not come in, then you forfeit any minimum pay requirements? What if you feel forced to leave early even though you're "asked"? How can you say NO without fearing some kind of retaliation?
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Answered in 45 minutes by:
8/2/2013
Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,299
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Verified
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and hope I can help.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service.

Have you ever been 'asked' not to work once reporting or after only a few hours while at work?
Ask Your Own California Employment Law Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago
Yes I have and I went home willingly. Could I have insisted on being paid for half my shift? Or, by volunteering did I waive any rights to file a wage claim? Today one of my co-workers was asked to leave and she replied "what if I say No" because she didn't want to leave. The manager replied that she was asking and would really appreciate it if she were willing to leave. My co-worker felt the manager would not take No for an answer and feared getting on the manager's bad side. This manager has a reputation for being vindictive and writing employees up for minor infractions. My co-worker clocked out before she had even worked 2 hours and I think she was scheduled for a full 8 hour shift. She was not happy that she barely made enough money to cover the bus fare to and from work. Can she file a complaint or a wage claim? Would the employer be able to argue that she was not forced to leave because they "asked".
Hello Christine,

It would be a factual question whether or not you actually volunteered or were compelled by your employer to leave work. It does seem that your manager has a significant amount of power to 'influence; your decisions, so that could be taken into account in determining whether or not you have a valid wage claim.

It does seem that the situation that you describe with your co-worker is a little closer to being accepted, but again, it would be a factual issue, since the manager appears to be trying to cover his or her bases by 'asking' instead of ordering.

You and your co-workers are protected from retaliation though if you do file a wage claim, which you can do online here:

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/howtofilewageclaim.htm

Please let me know if you have any follow up or clarifying questions.

Thanks and best of luck!

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago
So if you do cut your hours willingly, the employer has no obligation to pay the minimum of 2-4 hours? Or, would you only know after filing a wage claim and seeing whether the employer challenges it?
Hello Christine,

If you actually did so 'willingly,' then no you wouldn't have a wage claim against your employer. But if you were coerced into agreeing to a cut in your hours, then you could still have a valid wage claim.

(Also, the employer is more than likely going to challenge a wage claim if you file one).
Joseph
Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5,299
Experience: Extensive experience representing employees and management
Verified
Joseph and 87 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Hello Christine,

Thank you for your positive rating of my service and the very generous bonus! It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should you have future legal questions.

Please request me directly by placing “to Joseph” at the beginning of your question and/or requesting me directly in California Employment Law.

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and best of luck,

Joseph
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