Out-of-State Employees in California Entitled to Legal Protection

A recent ruling by the California Supreme Court has changed the ways in which wage and hour laws will be applied in cases involving out-of-state employees working in the state of California. As a result of the ruling, California overtime laws now apply to any out-of-state employees while they are working in California.

This change resulted from the state Supreme Court ruling in the Sullivan v. Oracle Corporation case. Oracle is based in California and the plaintiff employees resided in Arizona and Colorado and occasionally worked in California. After Oracle reclassified these employees as non-exempt, the plaintiffs sued for overtime wages. The Supreme Court decided that the employees were protected under the state's overtime laws and ruled that out-of-state employees should generally be paid for any overtime worked, regardless of residency.

Practical Impacts of the Ruling

Employers in California should make sure that out-of-state nonexempt employees receive overtime pay under California law for days and weeks worked in the state. The state's overtime law requires employers to pay one and a half times the regular rate for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek or the first eight hours on the seventh consecutive day worked in a workweek. Two times the regular rate must be paid for hours worked in excess of twelve hours in a workday or eight hours on the seventh consecutive day worked in a workweek.

Out-of-state employees who travel to California to work should record the time and location of their employment. Proper monitoring will both help to guarantee that wages are being paid correctly and can provide evidence if an employer is not paying workers proper compensation under California wage and hour laws.

Employees temporarily imported from nearby Arizona and Colorado will benefit from the ruling, as Arizona does not have overtime laws and Colorado's law does not extend beyond the state border. Out-of-state employees who work overtime in California who do not properly receive payment for those hours worked may pursue legal action against their employer under California wage and hour laws.

If you are an out-of-state employee who has not receive proper compensation while working in California, contact an experienced employment law firm to discuss your case, as you may be entitled to overtime wages.