The Fresno Bee is reporting that employees of BJ’s Restaurants entered into a $1.5 million settlement with the company to compensate for wages lost when employees were told to be on-call but were not paid for that on-call time.
The dispute arose over standby shifts where an employee was on-call in case more servers were needed. Employees complained that they could not make plans or go anywhere because they had only one hour to report to work. The employees argued that they should have been compensated for this standby time but were not.
The case was brought on behalf of a class of all employees of BJ’s Restaurants in California from March 2007 to March 2011. According to Nicholas “Butch” Wagner, an attorney for one of the plaintiffs, the standby shifts ceased in March of 2011.
Time spent on standby is usually counted as time worked under California law.
HRCalifornia subscribers: See the HR Library’s On-Call and Standby Pay section for more information on whether standby time counts as time worked, and paying employees for this time.
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