California On-Call Workers Entitled to Pay even when not Scheduled to Work
The Second Appellate District of California held that the retail employees who had to “call-in” 2 hours before their scheduled shift to find out if they have to report to work were entitled to “reporting time pay”.
The California Court of Appeal n February 4, 2019, issued their majority and dissenting opinion in Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc. It appears to be a precedent-setting ruling in California, holding that an employee scheduled for an on-call shift may be entitled to certain wages for that shift despite never physically reporting to work. Each of California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) wage orders requires employers to pay employees “reporting time pay” for each workday.
Implication for Employers
California employers are bound by the Appellate Court decision and should review and if needed revise their reporting policies accordingly to avoid liability.
- This decision strays from the general understanding of most employers that “the reporting time pay”, only covers the situation which the employee physically enters work but is sent home early (usually due to lack of work). California employers are bound by the Appellate Court decision and should revise their reporting policies accordingly to avoid liability. The court agreed that employees were “reporting for work” within the meaning of state law (Wage Order 7).
- The Supreme Court continues to demonstrate its inclination toward favoring workers on issues of compensation and benefits in the face of legitimate employment policies. In addition, employers should not assume that they are clear if they are not involved in the commercial sector.
- Although California Appellate court applied Wage Order No.7, most IWC wage orders share the same language in terms of time pay for reporting. The prudent employer in California should, therefore, assume that the Appellate Court decision applies to their company.
Edited by: Shreya Bhattacharya