Brief - Brewer
v. Patel (1993)
20 Cal.App.4th 1017
What hours must an Resident Apartment Manager receive compensation?
The employee was entitled to be paid for time he actually
provided services, not all hours spent at the complex (time
off, sleeping, watching tv, etc.)
Patel owns a 25-unit motel known as the Fortuna Motor Lodge.
Brewer worked at the motel for a two-year period beginning
in September 1989. Brewer's primary responsibility was as
an office clerk; he answered the motel telephone and checked
guests in and out of their rooms. However, appellant also
assisted with other tasks at the motel such as cleaning the
grounds, doing laundry, and cleaning the rooms. In exchange
for this work, appellant received a salary which started at
$750 per month and eventually increased to $1,150 per month.
If appellant worked a seventh day in any week, he received
an additional day's pay. Appellant was also given free living
quarters: a one bedroom apartment connected to the motel office.
Appellant's duties at the motel required, on average, less
than five hours a day to perform. However, appellant was also
required to keep the motel office open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
every day, and he was generally expected to remain on the
motel premises 24 hours a day. Appellant could leave the motel
if he wished, but he had to let respondent know so that respondent
or someone else could take his place. When appellant was not
actually working, he could relax in his apartment, watch television,
or attend to his own personal needs.
The primary issue in this case is the correct interpretation
of a regulation which sets forth rules governing how resident
managers of apartment houses and motels must be paid. The
Labor Commissioner, who represents appellant on appeal interprets
this language to mean that Brewer was entitled to compensation
for the entire time he spent at the motel, less certain allowances
for sleep time and meals. Patel interprets Wage Order No.
5 to mean that Brewer was entitled to compensation only for
the time he actually worked.
The court agreed with Patel and denied any further recovery