California Wage Laws Apply to Non-California Residents Working Temporarily In The State -- Sullivan v. Oracle

As the "global economy" becomes more fluid it is increasingly common for employees to cross borders for short-term assignments.  This can lead to confusion concerning the proper calculation of wages for these assignments  -- e.g., should it be based on the law where the work is performed, or where the employee lives?

In Sullivan v. Oracle the California Supreme Court has clarified that California's overtime rules apply to anyone performing work within the state, regardless of their state of residency or how long they may be working in California. 

Although the Court's ruling is technically limited to overtime rules the same analysis would necessarily also apply to most other Labor Code protections.  Thus, employers and workers alike should assume that the provisions of the Labor Code will generally govern any work performed in California. 

In a secondary part of the decision the Court also held that plaintiffs could not use California's unfair competition law ("UCL") to recover overtime payments which were earned under federal law in another state.  That would be stretching the long arm of California law a bit too far.



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