Law Offices of Louis Spitters

Employment compensation: Pay all time worked, even off-the-clock

"A fair day's wage for a fair day's work" was an old slogan that surfaced in early labor movements in the country. Exactly what is considered to be "fair" has long been an issue for employers in California and throughout the nation. Disputes regarding employment compensation are common when workers do not receive the proper pay for the hours they have worked. A recent ruling by the state Supreme Court provided clarification on how to fully define time worked on the job.

There are many scenarios when an hourly worker may perform tasks either before or after a scheduled shift. For example, an employee may need to attend a debriefing with someone on a previous shift or may need to prepare equipment or documents to start the day. After a shift, workers may need to finalize reports or communicate with others. In all these instances, the court deemed that they are time worked and should be compensated. According to California Labor Code, an employee should be paid for this time, even if it was off the clock.

A Starbucks employee had filed a lawsuit claiming that he had not been paid for tasks he performed after his workday ended. As they were tasks his employer required of him, he believed he should have been compensated for the time spent doing them. The court was unanimous in its decision that all hours worked should be compensated.

Employment compensation issues may arise in any business, regardless of size of type of industry. If someone believes they have not been properly compensated on the job, he or she should contact a California employment law attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer can work to help clients receive the compensation to which they are entitled.

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Law Offices of Louis Spitters
96 North 3rd Street
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San Jose, CA 95112

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