Should hourly employees be paid for an open house event?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by James13, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. James13

    James13
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    We recently had an open house. Upon review of time cards, several of the hourly employees stayed on the clock for the event. Our usual hours are 8:30 to 5:30, and the event took place from 4:30 to 7:30. We had a catered event with music and complementary drinks served. I was considering paying the hourly employees until 5:30. Should they be paid until 7:30?
     
  2. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    Were they required to stay for the extra hours? Were they helping to run the event, or were they "guests"? If attendance was mandatory, and/or they were performing tasks related to the event, they probably should expect to be paid for it. If they were not performing tasks related to the event, and you did not expect to pay them, you should have made it clear before the event that attendance was voluntary, and they would not be paid for attending.
     
  3. Bill Ryan

    Bill Ryan
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    Have to agree with the previous poster.

    You could ask them why they have put in the claim for these hours as well. The answer might help you make the right decision.
     
  4. James13

    James13
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    I also agree with joeroxx and wish we would have shown a little more foresight. The employees were asked to attend, and were asked to be available if our guest/customers had a question, though no one was asked to do any event related work (set up, clean up, etc.) during that time.

    We ended up paying everyone until 7:30 (some had clocked out at 8:30 or later). Next time we'll be clear and up front about what is expected and what the guidelines are.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  5. Fergal

    Fergal
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    Glad you got it sorted James13, welcome to our business forum and I hope that we see more posts and questions from you.
     
  6. Joseph.Shivell

    Joseph.Shivell
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    Here's where it gets a little "iffy". If one of the employees was asked a question during the event, because they were asked to attend,that could be considered work-related, and therefore they should be paid. One way to deal with this is to deduct the time period of the event from their regularly scheduled hours. For instance, for a three-hour event, employees would come in to work three hours later, or come in one hour later, or leave one hour earlier, on three separate days.
    Make sure you are aware of any state and/or federal laws that may pertain to this situation so you don't get into legal trouble.
     

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