Report-in pay applies when employees report to work at the normal starting hour but are unable to work because of some unusual condition at the place of employment. No federal law requires employers to pay employees in this situation.
This rule is not limited to situations that are designated report-in time by an employment agreement. It applies to any situation where the employee performs work outside his regular working hours, is guaranteed pay for a minimum number of hours, and does not work the number of hours covered by the guarantee.
The courts have drawn a distinction between an employer engaging an employee to wait and an employee waiting to engage in work (Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134 (1944)). If an employer requires an employee to report to work and then wait for a certain length of time before the employer releases the employee because there is no work available, the employer may be required to pay the employee for that time.