The plaintiffs in this case were workers at an Oregon hydroelectric plant who resided on-site. They claimed (overtime) pay for being on-call. The employer claimed the time was non- compensable, and the district court agreed. ?The Ninth Circuit reversed.?? In an opinion by Judge O?Scannlain (!), the court held that the on-call time constituted ?working time? under the FLSA. The court found most of the relevant factors were almost evenly balanced but ultimately relied on the requirement that the employees be near their home phones at all times and report to work immediately to find the on-duty time to be compensable.? ?The court also found that even though the employees knew the employer did not pay for on-call time, the district court had erred in finding that the employees? had acquiesced to not being paid. ?Based on the implicit agreements and understandings? between? the? parties,? the employees were entitled to only four hours’ pay for a 14 hour on-call duty shift.?? Because the employees resided on site, the court rejected application?? of?? the?? more?? employee-favorable FLSA regulation concerning shifts in excess of 24 hours. ?Brigham v. Eugene Water & Electric Bd., No. 01-35932 (2/3/04; O?Scannlain, Fernandez, Fisher).
Resident Electrical Utility Workers Entitled to Pay for On-Call Time
Feb 3, 2004