In Port of Tacoma v. Sacks, the Court of Appeals of the State of Washington just lately held that every one out-of-town worker journey time is compensable underneath state legislation. The determination confirms the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) interpretation that every one journey time associated to work is compensable, no matter when it takes place. Accordingly, all companies with hourly workers situated in Washington ought to develop into conversant in the modifications to the legislation.
In this case, L&I issued a quotation to the employer for wages owed to 4 workers following a visit to China. Pursuant to an settlement between the employer and the employees’ union, the employer paid the workers eight hours per day for journey to, from, and inside China, however didn’t pay the workers for all their time spent touring. The workers filed wage claims with L&I looking for compensation for all their time spent touring, together with all journey to and from airports, all time spent at airports, and all time spent in flight. Pursuant to L&I’s definition of “hours worked” in WAC 296-126-002(8) and the steering contained in L&I’s nonpublic Desk Aid, the division issued a quotation to the employer for wages owed to the workers from the journey to China, which the employer appealed.
On attraction, the Washington Court of Appeals held that journey time for out-of-town journey constitutes “hours worked” underneath Washington legislation for 3 causes. First, the court docket distinguished its precedent in Anderson and Stevens and held that each of these instances concerned interpretations of “hours worked” throughout the context of an worker’s day by day commute whereas this case handled workers’ out-of-town journey. Second, the court docket held that L&I’s interpretation of WAC 296-126-002(8) was entitled to deference as a result of it mirrored a believable development and was not opposite to legislative intent. Third, the court docket held that L&I’s interpretation was per each the plain which means of the regulation and Washington’s long-standing coverage of defending workers. Accordingly, the court docket discovered the employer answerable for unpaid wages and remanded the case for additional proceedings.
Overall, this case presents vital modifications for all companies with workers situated in Washington state as a result of now all worker time spent touring out of city is compensable underneath state legislation. Previously in Washington and underneath federal legislation, employers weren’t usually required to pay hourly workers for his or her time spent touring exterior of regular working hours so long as the workers didn’t work through the journey. Now, nonetheless, employers should compensate Washington workers for all their time spent touring out of city pursuant to the court docket’s latest determination. Accordingly, all companies with hourly workers situated in Washington ought to revise their journey time insurance policies to make sure compliance with the modifications to the legislation. Finally, employers ought to seek the advice of with trusted authorized counsel if they’ve any questions or issues concerning compensating workers for his or her time spent touring.
 Port of Tacoma v. Sacks, No. 54498-9-II, 2021 WL 4271356, at *1 (Wash. Ct. App. Sept. 21, 2021).
 Anderson v. State, Dep’t of Soc. & Health Servs., 115 Wash. App. 452, 63 P.3d 134 (2003) (holding that workers’ day by day commute time was not “hours worked” underneath WAC 296-126-002(8)).
 Stevens v. Brink’s Home Sec., Inc., 162 Wash. second 42, 169 P.3d 473 (2007) (similar).