Just Passing Through: That’s Enough in California


The California Supreme Court recently issued its long awaited opinion in Sullivan v. Oracle Corp. (6/30/11) --- Cal.4th ---, 2011 WL 2569530. In Sullivan, the state's high court concluded that the Bay Area software giant, Oracle Corporation (“Oracle”), was subject to suit for failing to pay overtime wages to out-of-state instructors for work performed in California under the state's wage and hour laws.


Plaintiffs, Donald Sullivan, Deanna Evich and Richard Burkow, worked for Oracle as software instructors. Sullivan and Evich lived in Colorado, and Burkow lived in Arizona. Each of them periodically traveled to California to provide software training for Oracle approximately 15 to 33 days a year during the relevant time period.

Previously, Oracle had classified all of its instructors as “teachers,” who are exempt under both state and federal overtime laws. In 2003, Oracle’s instructors joined in a federal class action against the company alleging misclassification under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and sought unpaid overtime compensation. Oracle settled that class action in 2005, and the class claims were dismissed with prejudice; however, claims involving the non-California resident instructors remained unsettled.

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