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When snow is expected, I have to stay in a hotel near work

Discussion in 'Wage and Hour, Overtime' started by MaggieMay, Jan 26, 2015.

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  1. MaggieMay

    MaggieMay Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am an hourly employee. If snow is expected my employer requires that we stay in a hotel close to the office. We are not compensated for the time spent away from
    our homes and our families. It doesn't seem right, if I was a salaried employee I probably wouldn't question it. Can they do this? If so, should there be some type of additional compensation for it?
     
  2. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Is the employer paying for the hotel?
     
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  3. MaggieMay

    MaggieMay Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Yes, and my dinner. My main concern with is is that I can't be with my husband and children. It's an hourly job. The financial aspect is that I am unable to attend to duties at home. If I can't clean my home, do laundry, or take care of snow removal (a legal obligation in most areas) I will likely have to pay someone else to do it.
     
  4. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I don't think you have much of a legal problem here. You simply need to decide if you want to continue working for this employer.
     
  5. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    OK, why do they insist you stay on sight? My sister has a similar provision with her job but there s very good reason for it. It doesn't change the legality but it does make the policy make more sense.
     
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  6. cynthiag

    cynthiag Active Member

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    If your employer is paying for the hotel and your meal, but the time you spend there after regular work hours is off-duty time and you are free to do whatever you wish during those hours, then that time would not generally be compensable.

    In most cases, if there are two parents living in the home, it would be assumed that the parent left at home could/would deal with the daily duties of running the home, including cleaning, doing laundry, and snow removal.
     
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  7. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    I understand why you are upset but I'm not seeing that you have a legal right to any additional compensation. (Oh, and yes, they can do this.)
     
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  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Your employer can't mandate you stay at the hotel.
    I don't think the requirement to stay at the hotel rises to you must stay.
    If you didn't stay and couldn't get to work, you'd wear the risk.
    If you chose not to stay, you might no longer remain employed.
    If you stay or refuse to stay, I don't think your employment would be terminated over that choice.
    If you failed to report, that could create a problem for you.


    Here's the link to your state's labor and wage agency.


    Most of your questions can find answers here.

    http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=563209&mode=2

    I suggest you discuss your concerns with your manager or supervisor.
    There are situations in a family where the paid hotel stay could wreak havoc, such as the other parent being out of town traveling each week.
    There are many other conflicts this could cause.
    The best way to address any conflict is to discuss it, not litigate it.
    The employer might not agree, and then your choice is always to decide what works best for you.
    Only you know the answer to that.
    I wish you well.
     
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  9. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Let it be clearly understood; if the employer says, During a snowfall you must stay at the local hotel at our cost, and the employee says, No I will not, the employer absolutely has the right to fire the employee; the termination will be 100% legal; and I am by no means certain that the employee will qualify for unemployment in that case.

    If there is a situation where the other parent is away, or something of the sort, then the employee is encouraged to take it up with the employer; that will at least increase the odds that they'll get unemployment. However, "I want to spend time with my family and do my laundry" is NOT by any description a compelling enough reason to protect the employee's job, or unemployment rights, for refusal to comply with a lawful order in an emergency.
     
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  10. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    If your employer is paying for your hotel & meal & you are not doing any work while staying at the hotel, I don't see where you are entitled to any additional compensation. Also, it is legal for your employer to ask you to stay & fire you if you don't. If there is a great need to be home, maybe your employer will understand if discussed & let you go home. However; even then, the employer doesn't have to let you go home & can fire you if you do. Your chances, depending on the reason you had to go home, might be some better in getting unemployment ins. Sorry.
     
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  11. MaggieMay

    MaggieMay Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you all, I appreciate the input. I've looked for answers on this several times and this is the first time anyone has given me any useful information. I have some serious thinking to do!
     
  12. 2009RTR

    2009RTR New Member

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    Maggie,

    I had an employer that would first ask for volunteers and then if needed, mandate folks stay in a hotel to make sure they were there at 8AM when weather was in question. The hotel (Double Tree) was attached to the office tower so, it was kinda nice. When they had to mandate, single parents, those with kids who the other parents worked nights were never picked. Even if you were picked you were allowed to go home and get clothes, fix dinner for the famy etc. I knew quite a few who would get to the hotel at 11PM or later after doing what they had to do.

    I always volunteered! We got dinner brought in, usually a nicer restaurant you'd expect to pay $30 per entree. Breakfast buffet from Doubletree the next day, and if available, they'd get a small conference room for us and load it with snacks, beer and such. (I'd usually grab dinner and a beer, then go home spend time with the wife, get back to the hotel around 10:30PM and hang out with those still in the conference room or lobby area for an hour or so before crashing. They never said a word.
     
  13. cbg

    cbg Super Moderator

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    Let me add one more point.

    If there is a storm, you have the option of staying at a nearby hotel at the employer's expense and you refuse, I don't care if you have to leave the house at 3:00 am, you be on time for work the next day. You *might* escape notice, or at least discipline, as long as you make it to work on time but if you're two minutes late, be prepared to kiss your job goodbye.
     
  14. disagreeable

    disagreeable Well-Known Member

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    While working under a CBA, I sometimes was stuck in hotels for one or two days. It was a negotiated part of the contract to be paid up to 8 hours after the first 12, then give 10 more before hitting the clock for up to 8 and so on. We also had meals paid periodically. It does not sound like your employer is doing much different, since you are going into work during the day.
     
  15. Betty3

    Betty3 Super Moderator

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    You should be happy your employer is offering to let you stay at a hotel & paying for it & your meal. Otherwise, you would have to come in from home & if you were late, there could be consequences.
     

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