California’s top court rules workers must be paid for off-the-clock tasks

StarbucksCalifornia’s Supreme Court ruled that employers must pay workers for the time they spend completing off-the-clock tasks, such as locking up after work.

The decision, issued this week, marks a win for labor advocates who say requiring hourly workers to spend minutes doing unpaid tasks amounts to wage theft. Business groups say the ruling will embolden frivolous lawsuits and cost companies money.

A federal law, called the Fair Labor Standards Act, generally allows companies to avoid compensating employees for time spent on duties the law describes as trivial or too difficult to track.

In its majority opinion, the California Supreme Court said the federal rule does not apply in the state when it comes to certain off-the-clock tasks performed by employees.

It’s the result of a six-year legal battle between Starbucks (SBUX) and Douglas Troester, a California worker who sued the company for not paying him for closing tasks that he said took four to 10 additional minutes after he clocked out each day. …

Click here to read the full article from CNN


  1. askeptic says

    In a just world, there will be an immense push by employers (and we’re seeing this at the Fed-Gov’t level) to end “Official Time”. If the Labor Unions want union members to do work for the union, they’ll have to start paying them.

  2. More than skeptic says

    On-line mandated “training” off duty hours is HUGE. The “training” is to document that the employee was “trained” in the event something goes wrong due to system errors. Some employers mandate 80 hours per year of mandated “training” that must be completed or “you’re fired!”

  3. if he was working 5 days a week for those 17 months than he was losing a whole 41 cents per day to have lost that 100 dollars he was complaining about. He probably wasted more time than that is worth during every shift by talking to his friends and co workers or goofing off in other ways.

  4. Chinn Tutu says

    Soon enough there will be an employee who complains that it takes too long to drive to work and the company should be paying for the fact the employee is in fact “ready to work” but the traffic is not under his control. We already have seen utility companies have this item on their bills. Let’s just throw in the towel and make all employers pay an equal wage to all people in Kalifornia. An epitome example of liberal idea while people start unequal but end up equal. The Worker’s Comp is another agency that has drank too much Kalifornia cool-aids, most abusive agency to employers but with an open wallet policy to fraudulent employee if I have ever seen one.

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