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Gear could have gone home? No pay to retrieve it

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has nixed a firefighter’s claim that he should be paid for the time it takes to get to his station and retrieve his firefighting gear before reporting to a different station.

Recent case: A group of Menlo Park firefighters sued, claiming they should have been paid for the time between when they arrive at their regular firehouse, pick up their gear and go to another temporary firehouse assignment. They claimed that this was the equivalent of first going to headquarters and picking up equipment and then going to a worksite.

The court disagreed because their employer allowed all firefighters to choose between leaving their gear at their firehouse and taking it home. It reasoned that if they took the gear home, they could go directly to the temporary firehouse assignment. (Balestrieri, et al., v. Menlo Park, No. 12-15975, 9th Cir., 2015)

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