No. There are no circumstances whatsoever when you can legally not pay someone for time worked. No one here knows if she WILL file a wage claim if you don't pay her, but if she does, you will lose. You don't have to pay any more than minimum wage (the higher of state or Federal) times hours worked, but you do have to pay.
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Thank you @Chandrakant Arya for asking the question, I have done some research and here is my answer for you:
Most of the time merging companies can survive operating with fewer people, but not fewer quality people. So you can’t just sit back and let nature take its course so far as turnover is concerned.
Natural attrition during a merger produces a loss of good employees and minimal turnover among marginal, weak players. The reason for this is obvious—it’s easy for good people to find new jobs, but much more difficult for the lesser talents to reposition themselves successfully elsewhere.... (More)
Yes, I feel employees should be made known formally that they are high potentials. This could motivate them in making their best contribution to the organization. The chances of leaving the organization would be less. As per many survey results, formal identification of high potentials has helped in engaging the employees.
This also has some cons, where this could demotivate the other employees a little.