Court Of Appeals Finds That Some Work Performed At Home Or While Commuting To Work May Have To Be Paid


The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held on March 2, 2010 in Rutti v. Lojack Corporation, Inc. that some work performed by employees at home, as well as time spent commuting, may have to be paid in certain circumstances.

The plaintiff in Rutti was a technician for Lojack, Inc. ("Lojack") who installed car alarms. In the morning, Rutti, as well as Lojack's other technicians, would receive their assignments for the day, map the route to their assignments, and prioritize the jobs. While traveling to the first job in the morning, as well as when traveling home at the end of the day, technicians were required to keep their cell phones on and drive directly between home and the job site without making any additional stops. After returning home, technicians were required to upload data received at the job sites from a portable data terminal ("PDT") to the company by hooking the PDT up to a modem.

The Ninth Circuit determined that the technicians' commute time was compensable under state law, but not federal law.

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