Exclusively Employment Law

Sullivan v. Oracle Corporation

by | Feb 2, 2021 | Wage and Hour

Question: I do not live in California. However, I work for a California-based employer and sometimes work at my employer’s California headquarters. Am I entitled to receive overtime compensation under California law if I work overtime while temporarily in California?

Answer: Yes. The California Supreme Court decision — Sullivan v. Oracle Corporation, 51 Cal.4th 1191 (2011) — is summarized below.

In Sullivan v. Oracle Corporation, 51 Cal.4th 1191 (2011), Plaintiffs Donald Sullivan (“Sullivan”), Deanna Evich (“Evich”), and Richard Burkow (“Burkow”) worked as “Instructors” for Oracle Corporation (“Oracle”), which is headquartered in California.

As Instructors, the plaintiffs trained Oracle’s customers in the use of Oracle’s products. Plaintiffs Sullivan and Evich resided in Colorado, while Plaintiff Burkow resided in Arizona. Plaintiffs were required to travel for their jobs, and while they mainly worked in their home states (Colorado and Arizona, respectively), they also worked in California and several other states.

During the time frame relevant to Plaintiffs’ lawsuit against Oracle (2001 to 2004), Sullivan worked 74 days in California; Evich worked 110 days in California; and Burkow worked 20 days in California.

A key issue in the lawsuit was whether Plaintiffs were entitled to overtime compensation under the California Labor Code for days “worked entirely in California.” (Sullivan v. Oracle Corporation, 51 Cal.4th 1191, 1195 (2011))

The California Supreme Court held that the California Labor Code applies to overtime work performed in California for a California-based employer by out-of-state plaintiffs. In so holding, the Court noted that California’s overtime laws apply by their terms to all employment in California, without reference to the employee’s place of residence.” (Id. at 1197) Specifically, California Labor Code section 510(a) simply states that “‘[a]ny work in excess of eight hours in one workday and … 40 hours in any one workweek … shall be compensated at the rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay….’” (Id. (citing Cal. Labor Code sec. 510(a); italics in original))

The Court also noted that “[t]o exclude nonresidents from [California’s] overtime laws’ protection would tend to defeat their purpose by encouraging employers to import unprotected workers from other states.” (Id. at 1199)

If you have questions about California’s overtime compensation laws, call ((916) 612-0326) or email ([email protected]) Finley Employment Law today. Finley Employment Law serves clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Roseville, Davis, Folsom, and Elk Grove.

The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.