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Calling in to Work Counts as Reporting Time

By Arin Norijanian, Esq.

On February 4, 2019, in Ward v. Tilly’s, Inc., the California Court of Appeal held employees were due reporting time pay for calling in to work before the start of their shifts to see if they were needed to come in even if they never physically reported to work.

Each of California’s Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) wage orders requires employers to pay employees “reporting time pay” for each workday “an employee is required to report for work and does report, but is not put to work or is furnished less than half said employee’s usual or scheduled day’s work.”

In this case, on-call employees were required to call Tilly’s two hours before the start of their on-call shifts to see if they were needed that day. Plaintiff contended that calling his employer constituted “reporting for work” and that she and other similarly situated employees should be paid for that time. The employer disagreed, arguing that employees “report for work” only by physically appearing at the work site. The Court agreed with Plaintiff and held that since “on-call shifts burden employees, who cannot take other jobs, go to school, or make social plans during on-call shifts,” the employee must compensate for that time.

Employer Takeaway: Employers should review their “on-call” and “call in” scheduling policies and practices.

Have questions about wage and hour compliance or any other pressing employment law issues? Your attorneys at Bradley & Gmelich LLP can help.


Arin Norijanian, Esq. has successfully represented employers in lawsuits involving sexual and racial harassment, disability discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination in both California and federal courts and in private arbitration. His clients have benefited from his significant knowledge of the wage and hour laws in California, and his experience in defending these types of cases, including his excellent work on numerous and varied wage and hour class actions over the last several
Mr. Norijanian enjoys an excellent reputation as an employment litigator and a sound and prudent legal adviser in workplace labor matters. His experience in the employment arena includes conducting internal investigations, negotiating with labor bargaining units, and conducting training sessions for human resources personnel. Additionally, he provides advice and counsel to employers on various employment-related issues, including workplace investigations, disciplinary matters, leaves of absence, severance agreements, and review of policies .