Court of Appeal: Reporting Time Pay and Discharge

The Court of Appeal addressed California's "reporting time" pay requirement in the context of discharge. 
First it explained "reporting time" pay in the Wage Orders.
Section 5(A) of Wage Order Number 5-2001 states: “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, the employee shall be paid for half the usual or scheduled day‟s work, but in no event for less than two (2) hours nor more than four (4) hours, at the employee‟s regular rate of pay, which shall not be less than the minimum wage.” (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11050, subd. 5(A).)

The employee was called in for an unscheduled day to be fired. The company paid the employee 2 hours, but the employee wanted four hours' pay.  The Court of Appeal held that only two hours of reporting time pay was due.  In explaining why, the court will help employers in the case of meetings that are scheduled on employees' days off.

If an employee is required to work, reports to work, and is not put to work or does not work half of the employees‟ usual or scheduled day‟s work, the employee is paid a half-shift reporting wage not to exceed four hours. (Cal. Code Regs., tit. 8, § 11050, subd. 5(A).) If an employee is not scheduled to work or does not expect to work his usual shift, but must report to work for a meeting, the employee falls into the regulatory category of those employees called to work on their day off for a scheduled meeting. Price was entitled to the minimum payment, which is what he received.10
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We do not agree with Price that he is entitled to receive more than the two-hour minimum; he did not report to work with the expectation that he would work a scheduled shift, but rather was scheduled to attend a meeting for an unspecified number of hours. Nor do we agree with Price that the term "usual" in the statute means the average of his previously scheduled days‟ worked during his employment at Starbucks. Rather, the term "usual" refers to the employee‟s expectation of the hours in the customary workday, just as, in the alternative, a scheduled work day formalizes the expectation of the hours worked. During his employment, Price's expectations of hours worked was solely based upon his scheduled hours. Price was not scheduled to work on November 16, and his expectation was he had been called to work for a meeting on his day off. He did not lose any pay because of a scheduling error. He was paid for reporting to the meeting consistent with the reporting time pay regulation.
This case also is very good because it, once again, says you have to have an actual injury to recover on a wage statement claim.  No injury, no money.  And a missing piece of information is not an injury.

The case is Price v. Starbucks Corp. and the opinion is here.