The California Supreme Court recently voted 6-1 to deny Downtown LA Motors’ petition for review in Gonzalez v. Downtown LA Motors, LP (2013) 215 Cal. App. 4th 36. By declining review, the California Supreme Court confirmed that technicians must be paid a separate minimum hourly wage for time spent waiting between vehicle repairs or performing other non-repair tasks. The Court’s Decision validated a continuing trend of strict liability for wage and hour violations.
Gonzalez included a class of automobile service technicians paid on a “piece-rate” basis for repair work. The trial court agreed and awarded them $1.5 million for their waiting time and $237,840 for willful failure to pay waiting time wages. The California Court of Appeal in Los Angeles affirmed, citing to subdivision 4(B) of Wage Order 4-2001 which provides that employees must be paid “not less than the applicable minimum wage for all hours worked.” Employers cannot avoid paying employees for all hours worked by averaging total compensation over total hours worked in a given pay period. Technicians are entitled to separate hourly compensation for time spent waiting for repair work or performing other non-repair tasks directed by the employer during their work shifts.
For more information about this decision, click here.