Court Says Retail Workers Are Owed Pay for Being ‘On Call’

A California appellate court has held that “on call” workers should be compensated in instances when they aren’t ultimately forced to come in to work a shift. The decision issued Monday, February 4, 2019 by the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles marks the first time a court has weighed in how the state’s labor-friendly employee wage orders apply to the practice where workers are assigned on-call shifts but are not told until they call in just hours before they’re set to begin whether they should actually report to work or not.

The ruling is a win for plaintiffs’ lawyers at Bridgford, Gleason & Artinian as well as McNicholas & McNicholas and Frank Sims & Stolper who represent a proposed class of workers pursuing reporting time pay from the Irvine-based Tillys chain of retail stores.

Richard Bridgford told The Recorder the opinion is a ”far-reaching decision and a great day for the wage earners.”

“It’s a move to level the playing field and acknowledge the realities of the digital age in which we live,” Bridgford said. “It’s easier now for an employer to reach an employee—whether it be by email, cellphone. social media post of some type—and to tie up that wage earner’s time in a way that prevents the wage earner from seeking other employment or enjoying their free time.”