On-Call Employee Required to Sleep on Employer’s Premises? The Supreme Court Says They Must Now Be Paid
The California Supreme Court recently held that employees spending eight hours of their 24-hour shift sleeping on their employer’s premises, must be compensated for that sleep time.
Previously employees, specifically security guards who worked for CPS Security Solutions and resided on-site in trailers, were not paid for eight hours of on-call “sleep time” during their 24-hour shifts. In other words, CPS did not pay its employees for said on-call time unless they were asked to do a particular task.
A class action lawsuit was filed in 2008 by the guards, requesting that their on-call time and sleep time be paid time. The Courts agreed, stating that all on-call time should be compensated. CPS appealed but to no avail. All on-call time, including “sleep time” is considered “hours worked” as ruled by the California Supreme Court, and employees shall be paid for it.
Given this ruling by the courts, employers should review whether or not they are sufficiently compensating their employees who currently have unpaid on-call time, and if changes are needed to meet the requirements of this recent ruling.