Employers MUST pay employees' waiting time at work if...

Employees on Duty: Waiting time while on duty is included in compensable time, especially when it is unpredictable, or is of such short duration that the employees cannot use the time effectively for their own purposes. In those instances, the employees are to be compensated whether their work is on or off the employer's premises, even if the employees spend the time engaging in such amusements as playing cards, watching television or reading.
Examples in American jurisprudence where employees were found to be engaged in compensable waiting time include:
  1. Assembly line workers who experienced idle time of 45 minutes or less due to delays in delivery and mechanical failures;
  2. A well pumper who resided on the employer's premises and who was required to be on duty at least eight hours per day, seven days per week to pump wells and repair machinery when needed;
  3. Restaurant employees who were required by their employer to report to work at a certain time even though they could not punch in until enough customers were present to make work available;
  4. Truck washers who were idle while waiting for the arrival of the next truck;
  5. Truck drivers carrying the mail who had periodic layovers lasting two hours or less due to loading or unloading problems;
  6. Oil well casing crews who had to wait for casings after they set up their equipment;
  7. Truck drivers and helpers who were required by their employer to wait on premises for assignments; and
  8. Employees who experienced occasional idle time caused by machinery breakdowns.