Does California’s Wage Order 7 require retailers to pay employees required to call ahead two hours before their “on-call shift,” even if those workers aren’t required to come in to work? That was the question recently at issue in the case of Ward v. Tilly’s Inc., wherein a California appellate court (in a divided opinion) reinstated a class action lawsuit against an Orange County retailer for alleged failure to do so.
According to the complaint, workers say they were required to call in two hours before each previously-scheduled “on-call shift.” Orange County wage and hour lawyers know this is common practice among retailers, designed to optimize scheduling in an industry where staffing needs can fluctuate not only seasonally, but weekly, daily and sometimes hourly.
In this case, the employer in question did not consider those employees who called in an told not to report to work as having “reported for work” within the meaning outlined by the relevant Wage Order 7. The employees disagree.
The trial court sided with the employer and dismissed the claim, finding the only way an employee could “report for work” was by physically showing up for work at the store. Continue reading