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Getting Paid For Wasting Time

file photo (Getty Images)

file photo (Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you’re a chronic time waster, what can your boss do to you? Maybe less than you think.

A 2012 survey at Salary.com found that 50 percent of workers said they waste between an hour or two of their workday every single day. So what can an office do about it?

Well, unless your job is protected by an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement, you can be fired for wasting time or not being productive while you’re sitting at your desk. That’s not good. But if you are a w-2 employee and you’re actually sitting at your desk (not sleeping at your desk, but sitting there albeit unproductively), you have to be paid for hours you actually worked – even if the quality of the work produced was substandard.

This doesn’t mean that “getting away with it” is the way you should behave since you can be terminated, but for the time you spend at your desk it does mean that a boss should make time that workers are actually engaged and not wasting time filling out surveys about wasting time.