Although employers may not be keen on paying employees for just relaxing and not doing work, if you require an employee to be available on an on-call or standby status, that time may qualify as hours worked depending on how much you restrict his/her ability to actually have free time.
The California Supreme Court recently issued a decision discussing how to handle on-call time when security guards were required to stay overnight on the employer’s premises. The Court reaffirmed that “hours worked” under California law includes all the time during which an employee is subject to the control of his/her employer. In a significant departure from earlier lower court rulings, however, the California Supreme Court also held that the employer and employee could not agree to exclude an eight-hour sleep period from hours worked during a 24-hour on-call shift. Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc., 2015 WL 107082 (2015).
Source: HR California
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