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

08 May

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


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