Court Awards Brink’s Techs $1.4M in Back Wages
The Washington State Supreme Court ruled last week that technicians for Brink’s Home Security Inc. had to be paid for the hours spent driving company trucks between jobsites and their homes.
The 7-2 decision upheld a legal victory for a class representing about 70 Brink’s Home Security Inc. technicians, who were awarded $1.4 million in back wages, interest and attorney’s fees after suing Brink’s in November 2002, according to the Associated Press.
The case revolved around the security company’s voluntary “home dispatch program,” which allowed some technicians to start their day’s work by driving a company truck directly from their homes to a jobsite.
Upon concluding their workday, the technicians drove the trucks home.
However, Brink’s did not compensate the workers for their first and last trips of the day, unless they were behind the wheel for more than 45 minutes, the news service reported.
On Oct. 18, the Supreme Court decided the policy violated Washington’s minimum wage laws. In her majority opinion, Justice Susan Owens said the technicians were clearly on duty and in a prescribed workplace while driving the company trucks, thereby satisfying state rules that define working hours.
The court’s two dissenters, Justices Richard Sanders and James Johnson, said the technicians weren’t on the clock because the company trucks aren’t necessarily a workplace, the news service reported.
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