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Ninth Circuit Holds Time Spent Logging On and Off Computer systems Could Be Compensable Underneath FLSA (US)

Employers who’ve staff log onto computer systems earlier than clocking right into a time-keeping system and who’ve them clock out earlier than shutting the pc down could also be violating the Honest Labor Requirements Act (FLSA) in response to the Ninth Circuit Court docket of Appeals in Cadena v. Buyer Connexx LLC. In accordance with the info in Cadena, staff needed to boot up a pc initially of their shift and solely after finishing that course of may they log into the time-keeping system and clock in; the preliminary log in course of was off the clock. Equally, on the finish of shifts, staff clocked out after which shut down their laptop. The trial court docket granted abstract judgment to the employer on the bottom that the logging in and logging out processes weren’t “integral and indispensable” to the employees’ duties. The trial court docket determined the actions had been analogous to ready in line to punch a standard time clock.

The Ninth Circuit disagreed. Because it was not possible for the workers to do their jobs with out turning on the computer systems and logging into the employer’s community, the actions that occurred earlier than they had been capable of clock-in had been integral and indispensable to their jobs. The Ninth Circuit reversed the grant of abstract judgment, ordering the District Court docket to contemplate whether or not the time spent shutting down was additionally indispensable and whether or not the full period of time concerned was de minimis. Alarmingly for defendants in FLSA circumstances, the Ninth Circuit did notice the US Supreme Court docket has raised a query about whether or not a de minimis rule is suitable beneath the FLSA. “A de minimis doctrine doesn’t match comfortably inside the statute at challenge right here, which, it might pretty be mentioned, is all about trifles…” Cadena, slip op. pg. 19 quoting Sandifer v. U.S. Metal Corp., 571 U.S. 220, 234 (2014).

What ought to employers take away from Cadena? Evaluate time-keeping practices and have staff clock-in as early within the course of as potential. If staff should boot up earlier than they’ll clock in, think about whether or not you’ll be able to decide the typical boot-up time and add it to the workers’ compensable time whereas additionally constructing in a mechanism for workers to report once they encounter delays in booting up.  The Sandifer court docket was not improper that wage and hour legal guidelines are regularly about trifles. Employers are well-advised to anticipate these types of claims, trifling although they could appear. Implement procedures to attenuate publicity.


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