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The California Supreme Court Further Clarifies the Term “Hours Worked”

08 May

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Update Applicable to:Effective date
All employers in CaliforniaSee details below


What happened?

On March 25, 2024, the California Supreme Court issued a ruling in Huerta v. CSI Electrical Contractors, which clarified the scope of the term “hours worked.”


What are the details?

The Case Background

  • Subcontracted workers, including George Huerta, assisted CSI Electrical Contractors at a solar facility in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties. Accessing and exiting the worksite involved a 10–15-minute drive on a wildlife-protected access road and security checks. CSI paid employees only for the time on a shuttle to and from the worksite, not for travel or mealtimes, raising potential fair compensation issues.


The Court’s Ruling

The California Supreme Court granted a request from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to answer three questions, determining that time spent on security checks (or any other form of traveling/check) is compensable time. For a breakdown of the Q&A by the Court.


Business Considerations

  • Although not new, employers should review their policies, practices, and procedures regarding hours worked and on-premises time to comply with this ruling.
  • Employers should have clear that time spent on security checks on the employer’s premises is considered “hours worked” and should be compensated. This also includes time spent traveling on the employer’s premises.
  • Employers should know that if employees are prohibited from leaving the employer’s premises but are not required to engage in work-related activities, this time is considered “hours worked” and should be compensated.


Source References


Resources

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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