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Can you get paid for not working?

As an employee in Missouri, you rightly expect to receive a fair wage from your employer for the time you spend performing your job duties. However, there are circumstances in which your employer should compensate you for your time even when you are not working. According to FindLaw, when your time not working is nevertheless spent for the employer's benefit and/or under the employer's control, then you have a right to compensation for that time. 

For example, you should receive payment for any time that you spend training for your job. This includes off-site learning activities such as seminars or lectures. Not only do you deserve compensation for the time you spend in the lectures or training sessions themselves, but you should also receive compensation for the time it takes you to travel from the job site in order to attend.

While most workers do not receive payment for sleeping on the job, there is an exception for workers whose employment requires them to work 24-hour shifts. In situations such as this, you and your employer will typically delineate a specific 8-hour time frame during which you will sleep and for which you will receive compensation because it is in the employer's interest for you to get the sleep you need in order to perform your duties. Examples of jobs that may require 24-hour shifts include ambulance drivers and guards.

Similarly, during times when you must remain on call, waiting for a new assignment to come in, you deserve compensation for your time. Even if you are not technically working while on call, your employer may restrict your activities and/or require you to remain at a specific location, which means that the time you spend is under your employer's control. 

Certain states also have laws requiring short rest breaks and/or breaks for meals. Whether or not employees can receive compensation for these breaks is also up to individual state law.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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