Compensation for being On-Call, Time spent putting on Safety Gear, and Training Programs
California Labor Code and in Wage Orders/Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):
Commuting to and from work.
Ordinary commutes that employees take on their own are generally not compensable, but if an employer compels and controls the commute, such as an employer requiring "employees to meet at designated places to take its buses to work and prohibits them from taking their own transportation," these employees are "[s]ubject to the control of an employer," and "their time spent traveling on the buses is compensable as 'hours worked.'" Morillion v. Royal Packing Co., (2000) 22 Cal. 4th 575, 587-588.
If an employee is given a "special 1-day work assignment in another city," the travel is not considered ordinary home-to-work travel occasioned merely by the fact of employment. It is performed "for the employer's benefit and at his special request to meet the needs of the particular and unusual assignment." It therefore qualifies as an "integral part of the 'principal' activity" and is compensable. 29 CFR 785.37.
"For example, an employee who works in Washington, DC, with regular working hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. may be given a special assignment in New York City, with instructions to leave Washington at 8 a.m. He arrives in New York at 12 noon, ready for work. The special assignment is completed at 3 p.m., and the employee arrives back in Washington at 7 p.m." 29 CFR 785.37.
On-Call waiting time.
On call waiting time is compensable if "it is spent primarily for the benefit of the employer and its business." Gomez v. Lincare, Inc., (2009) 173 Cal. App. 4th 508, 524. This is determined by primarily considering the agreement between the parties and the "degree to which the employee is free to engage in personal activities." Id.
Reporting Time Pay
If an employee is "required to report for work and does report, but is not put to work or is furnished less than half said employee's usual or scheduled day's work, the employee shall be paid for half the usual or scheduled day's work, but in no event for less than two (2) hours nor more than four (4) hours, at the employee's regular rate of pay, which shall not be less than the minimum wage."
If the employee is required to report for work "a second time in any one workday and is furnished less than two hours of work on the second reporting said employee shall be paid for two (2) hours at the employee's regular rate of pay, which shall not be less than the minimum wage." 8 CCR 11010.
Preparation before work.
An employer must compensate an employee for activities that are "an integral part of the principal activity." 29 CFR 790.8. Some examples are:
"In the case of a garment worker in a textile mill, who is required to report 30 minutes before other employees report to commence their principal activities, and who during such 30 minutes distributes clothing or parts of clothing at the workbenches of other employees and gets machines in readiness for operation by other employees, such activities are among the principal activities of such employee." 29 CFR 785.24.
Attending "lectures, meetings, training programs, and similar activities need not be counted as working time if the following four criteria are met:
- Attendance is outside of the employee's regular working hours;
- Attendance is in fact voluntary;
- The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee's job; and
- The employee does not perform any productive work during such attendance." 29 CFR 785.27.
If you and other employees have not been properly compensated for commutes, on-call periods, reports to work, or for preparation before work, contact the trusted wage and hour claim lawyers at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900. Ask about our free initial consultation.