QUIRKY QUESTION # 224, The De Minimis Defense to Off the Clock Work Claims

March 2014

Question: We have an employee who is claiming that he should be paid for time cleaning up his work station after logging out of our electronic time keeping system each night.  Literally, he spends one or two minutes straightening his piles of paper and on other trivial similar tasks.  Another company HR representative said that every minute an employee spends on any tasks must be paid for.  We have offices on[more...]

Quirky Question #223, Meal Periods Outside California

March 2014

Question: We have offices in 13 states, a headquarters in Iowa and a manufacturing facility in Alaska.  Several employees have used our “open suggestion box” to request that we allow them to work through lunch so they can go home earlier.  I am aware of California’s unique laws which require that non-exempt employees be offered meal periods of at least 30 minutes during which they are relieved of all duty.  I[more...]

Quirky Question # 222, Seats in the Workplace

February 2014

Question: We are a retail store.  An employee in the warehouse requested an assigned chair to sit on when he is between tasks.  Must we comply with this request in our California locations? Dorsey’s Analysis: By Jessica Linehan and Gabrielle Wirth Yes.  California employers must comply with the Wage Orders promulgated by the California Industrial Welfare Commission.  Wage Order No. 7 governs employment in the retail industry.  Section 14 of Wage Order No. 7 provides: “(A)    [more...]

Quirky Question # 221, San Francisco Ordinance: Flexible Work Schedule

February 2014

Question: We have a part-time employee in San Francisco, CA who works Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. as support for our sole salesperson in the Bay Area.  She has recently requested to alter her schedule to work only 3 days a week.  I know there was a new San Francisco law about flexible schedules but we only have two employees in San Francisco so I am sure[more...]