The California Supreme Court ruled on an issue involving the state’s overtime laws as they apply to out-of-state workers who work in-state for parts of the year. The issue was first raised in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where a possible class action is pending. The federal appellate court deferred the question of California labor law to the California Supreme Court, writes Reuters.
In a unanimous ruling that came out on Thursday, the California Supreme Court held that out-of state residents working for California companies can benefit from California overtime laws when traveling to California for business, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Until this ruling, employers typically paid workers under the laws of the state where they worked.
The case was brought against the Silicon Valley tech company, Oracle Corp. Employees living in Arizona and Colorado sued to fall under California's overtime laws.
Under current California overtime laws, nonexempt employees working over eight hours a day and 40 hours a week are entitled to pay-and-a-half for the hours above and beyond the call of duty.
This ruling, many predict, could have the effect of protecting California workers from being replaced by cheaper out of state workers.
According to Reuters, there are both advocates and opponents of the decision. Labor law activists are saying that the law carries great significance for underrepresented workers, such as migrant workers who come to California to farm. Other employment lawyers are predicting that the broad scope of the ruling could lead to more wage and hour lawsuits against California employers.
The case has yet to be decided by the Ninth Circuit, but with the new California Supreme Court ruling, there is bound to be some action in the field of employment law.