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Correctional Officers May Be Entitled to Compensation for Time Spent Under the Employer’s Control Before and After Their Scheduled Shifts

SUMMARY: Correctional officers filed a class action against the state alleging it did not compensate them for all time spent completing tasks (for example, putting on their gear) in advance of or after their shifts.  The California Court of Appeal determined that the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to unionized correctional officers because their collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) calls for the FLSA to apply when determining hours worked.  The FLSA’s determination of hours worked is friendlier to employers and does not require the state to compensate for preparatory tasks completed off-the-clock.  However, non-union officers not subject to the CBA must receive compensation for their off-the-clock work.

QUESTIONS FOR THE SUPREME COURT : The California Supreme Court will decide whether the FLSA or a California Wage Order determines correctional officers’ compensable time, and whether unionized officers are subject to a different calculation of compensable time than non-union officers.  Stoetzl v. State of California.

Please contact Phillip Maltin for further information about these cases pending before the California Supreme court