business news in context, analysis with attitude

CNN has a story about how the California Supreme Court has ruled that hourly employees must be paid for tasks they perform even after they’ve clocked out after their shifts, a ruling that “marks a win for labor advocates who say requiring hourly workers to spend minutes doing unpaid tasks amounts to wage theft. Business groups say the ruling will embolden frivolous lawsuits and cost companies money.”

According to the story, “A federal law, called the Fair Labor Standards Act, generally allows companies to avoid compensating employees for time spent on duties the law describes as trivial or too difficult to track. In its majority opinion, the California Supreme Court said the federal rule does not apply in the state when it comes to certain off-the-clock tasks performed by employees … The majority opinion from California's top court suggests the federal law is antiquated, and smartphones or other modern devices can be used to easily track a employee's time down to the minute.”

CNN writes that the ruling is “the result of a six-year legal battle between Starbucks and Douglas Troester, a California worker who sued the company for not paying him for closing tasks that he said took four to 10 additional minutes after he clocked out each day.

“Over the 17 months of Troester's employment at Starbucks, the unpaid time added up to more than $100, according to court documents.”
KC's View:
I’m amazed that this case ever had to make it into the courts. Why would any retailer - especially one like Starbucks - want not to pay it people for work performed? It just seems so petty…