Many businesses have multiple offices both inside and outside of California. Often those businesses have employees who work in California only for a small amount of time during any single pay period. In those circumstances, is the employee entitled to receive wage statements in compliance with California law for those hours worked in California?  Also, in those circumstances are the employees entitled to be paid according to California-compliant pay periods? Fortunately for multi-state employers, the California Supreme Court recently answered both of those questions in the negative.

Oman v. Delta Air Lines, Inc. involved (among other issues) whether flight attendants who lived and were based outside of California (but who worked for a small portion of their workweek in California) were entitled to receive California-compliant wage statements and to be paid pursuant to California-compliant pay periods.  In a small win for employers, the California Supreme Court held that California Labor Code sections 226 (governing wage statements) and 204 (governing pay periods) did not apply to non-California-based employees who work primarily outside of California.  The Court reasoned that the approach suggested by Oman would require employers to unnecessarily provide a “blizzard of wage statements every pay period” with respect to wage statements or allow “California law to dictate the timing of payments for wages earned predominately outside of California” with respect to the pay periods.

While this small victory will not do much to stem the regulatory avalanche facing most multi-state businesses with California operations, at least it will not add to their burden.

Author’s Bio:  Douglas A. Plazak


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