Portland, OR asked in Employment Law for Oregon

Q: My job says they require me to come in an hour early before my shift. But I'm not being paid for that time.

My job says they require me to come in an hour early before my shift. I asked if I get paid for that time? They said no, they just need me at work early. If I'm not being paid for my time can they fire me for not wanting to come in if I'm not getting paid for my time while there?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Spencer  Aldrich
Spencer Aldrich
  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Your question is more related to employment law and wage/hour than it is WC, but it doesn't pass my (WC lawyer) smell-test. You should be paid for the time you work. That's it. My recollection is that there's some flexibility...like, come in early and leave early or work extra today and leave early tomorrow. However, simply requiring someone to work additional hours for no wage is concerning.

I'd recommend you consult with BOLI and/or an employment attorney.

I can't give a good answer to the "can they fire me" part, but, again, i'm pretty sure that "hey worker, please work extra...for free...and if you don't we'll fire you" is going to get them in trouble. Again, call an employment lawyer and consider a BOLI wage and hour complaint.

Disclaimer: i'm not an employment attorney, i'm a workers' comp attorney.

Mr. Michael O. Stevens
Mr. Michael O. Stevens
  • Hillsboro, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: If they require you to be there, then at a minimum they owe you for waiting time:


If you are actually working, then they owe you for just regular hours (and potentially OT if it makes you go over 40 hours in a week).

Can they fire you, yes; are they supposed to, no. They also are not supposed to be making you come in early uncompensated, but they are. And if they did fire you for it, it would be a wrongful termination.

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