California workers to be paid when going through security at work

In California, many workers are denied their maximum wages because they are unaware of the full extent of the law. They might think that certain circumstances are just part of their commute to their job and they cannot ask their employer to compensate them for it.

However, when employees are required to follow specific procedures, the time spent could warrant them being paid. A recent case addressed this very issue and was decided in workers’ favor.

Court rules workers going through security can be paid

In a recent ruling, the California Supreme Court ruled that workers who are waiting to enter their workplace due to security checks can be paid if the wait is up to a half-hour. The case stemmed from a class action filing by workers at a solar plant who complained that their drive at their worksite often resulted in a commute of up to 15 minutes while going from security to the parking area. It is not categorized as hours worked, but it will be viewed as travel required as part of their job.

There was dispute as to whether workers who were in their own vehicle when going through security should be treated the same as workers at retail outlets who had their personal effects checked to ensure they were not stealing. Those retail workers are considered on the clock. Since the workers at the solar plant were under employer control, the court decided they should be paid for that time.

The extent of the security check meant that workers were not simply in traffic. Their security information was scanned and their vehicles searched. Because there were detailed procedures in place as part of their employment requirements, this meant they were under employer control.

New laws regarding wages need to be understood and adhered to

It is essential for workers who are unsure of when they should be paid for activities on the employer’s premises to be up to date on recent changes to the law. While this decision was based on an unusual situation with a highly secure worksite, it still applies to other workers in various ways.

Employees should know their rights if they believe there are unpaid wages, they were deprived overtime, are not paid for off-the-clock work, do not receive payment for meal time when they should and are facing other violations. Employers can be held accountable by pursuing legal action if they are not paying employees as they are required to under the law.