I am doing work through a small staffing agency. I am working for a particular client for about 2 months. The owner of the agency is really nice but I'm getting frustrated with how frequently he changes the work schedule (both after it has come out, and after I report for work).
Some of the shifts I am scheduled for are only 3 hours long. On top of that, we are sometimes sent home early. This is because it's a slow day and there isn't enough work and the client requests it.
However, the owner of the staffing agency also told me to invoice for the scheduled hours, not the hours worked. So this means if we get sent home 30 minutes early we would still get paid for those 30 minutes.
But today I was scheduled for only 3 hours and after 2 hours the owner of the agency called and said the client said it's not busy enough and either me or my coworker had to leave (i.e. they only needed one person to stay).
I was considering going home early and just invoicing the full time, since this seems to be what he had said, but if he's telling me to go home an hour early I can't honestly think that he's expecting me to invoice for it. I mean why not stay for the work if I'm getting paid for it?
I felt this really messed things up. If I made the commitment to come out for work I expect at least 3 hours. The law may even require this. I told my coworker my perspective. So she agreed to leave early. This still wasn't a great situation because my coworker had been scheduled for a longer shift than I was so this means I had to stay longer than I had planned to. So I had to either loose an hour or pickup 2 extra.
I was advised by a friend that this is management's problem for not forecasting properly. Instead of pointing blame or threatening legal action, what would be a good first step?
Should I call, text, or email the owner of the agency and say:
I would like to make sure we have an understanding. Even when it is slow and someone is told to leave an hour early, are we still supposed to invoice for the scheduled time? In general I would like to be paid for at least 3 hours if I'm coming out to a shift.
I submit an invoice to the staffing agency but am not sure if I'm considered an employee or contractor (it may be different what the owner claims vs. in the eyes of the law).
As an aside, even when I've worked as a full time employee I've been asked to go home early on days that aren't busy. I don't really find this ethical as I make a commitment to be on time and not leave early I think the company should reciprocate this.