Key Decisions

August 2013 – Security Guards Were Entitled To Compensation For All Time Worked

(filed under: Key Decisions | August 16, 2013)

Security Guards Were Entitled To Compensation For All Time Worked

Mendiola v. CPS Security Solutions, Inc.
(Cal. Ct. of App., 2d Dist.), filed July 3, 2013, published July 3, 2013

Tim Mendiola worked for CPS Security Solutions. Its business was providing security guards for building construction sites throughout California.

A number of the security guards employed by CPS were designated “trailer guards.” In addition to their regular patrols, “trailer guards” were expected to spend the night at their assigned jobsites in CPS-provided residential-type trailers. This was so they were available to investigate alarms and other suspicious circumstances and to prevent vandalism and theft.

During these nighttime periods, CPS considered the trailer guards “on call” and generally compensated them only for the time spent actively conducting investigations.

Mendiola filed a class action against CPS, alleging it violated California law governing minimum wage and overtime compensation. The trial court consolidated the class Mendiola sought to represent with another similar one.

The trial court granted a preliminary injunction requiring CPS to compensate trailer guards for all on call time spent in the trailers. CPS appealed.

The Court of Appeal affirmed in part and reversed in part.

As to weekdays, when the trailer guards were on patrol eight hours and on call eight hours it held that CPS was required to pay the guards for all 16 hours. As to weekends, when trailer guards were on patrol 16 hours and on call eight hours it held that CPS was permitted to deduct eight hours for sleep time.