When a Starbucks employee claimed before the California Supreme Court that he was not being paid for closing up the store, a task that took 4-10 minutes each day, the court ruled he should be compensated….this is a direct challenge to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The Fair Labor Standards Act allows employers to disregard short bits of time that employees work if recording that time is impractical, the time required to complete the work is trivial, or the uncompensated tasks are irregular. (Source: Wall Street Journal) The California court said the act was before sophisticated time-tracking technology – and out of date. The repercussions are potentially perilous. We can all think of things that employees do off the clock that is needed for their work. How could anybody realistically and economically measure these small increments of time?
The bigger concern – will California’s lead be followed elsewhere.
Oh – and one more thing, for the 17 months he worked at Starbucks, the employee missed out on a total of $103.