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|Time spent booting up computers is
compensable under the FLSA
Cadena v. Customer Connexx (9th Cir
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employees brought a collective wage action under the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA) against their employer. The employees
asserted that the time spent booting up and shutting down their
computers was an integral and indispensable part of their
principal duties, making the time compensable under the FLSA.
The workers provided customer service and scheduling to
customers over a “soft phone,” operated only through their
The employees estimated the
average boot up time was between 6.8 to 12.1 minutes, and the
average shut down time was 4.75 to 7.75 minutes. After booting up
the computer, an employee would clock in using a computer-based
timekeeping system, and the employee would clock out using this
same system before booting down the computers for the day.
The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the
employer, finding that the time spent starting and turning off the
computers was equivalent to the non-compensable time employees
spend waiting in line to clock in or out on a physical time clock.
The 9th Circuit reversed and remanded.
with the 10th Circuit, the court held that the workers’ duties
could not be performed without turning on and booting up their
work computers, and having a functioning computer was necessary
before the workers could receive calls and schedule appointments.
Accordingly, turning on the computers was integral and
indispensable to the workers’ duties and was a principal activity
under the FLSA. It therefore was compensable.
remanded to the trial court for consideration of whether the time
spent shutting down the computers was compensable, whether the
time spent booting up and down the computers was not compensable
because it was de minimis, and whether the employer was not in
violation of the FLSA's overtime requirements because they had no
knowledge of the alleged overtime.
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