Gomez v. Lincare, Inc., 173 Cal. App. 4th 508 (2009)

Lincare provides respiratory services and medical equipment setup to patients in their homes. Plaintiffs were Lincare service representatives who drove vans containing liquid and compressed oxygen (defined by the federal government as “hazardous materials”) and worked on call in the evenings and on weekends. Plaintiffs sought compensation for the on-call time they spent resolving customer questions by telephone and for all the time they were on call, even when they were not responding to customer calls. The trial court granted Lincare’s motion for summary adjudication on the ground that plaintiffs were covered by the motor carrier exemption and therefore were exempt from California’s overtime law. The Court of Appeal reversed, holding that Lincare had failed to prove that each plaintiff drove a vehicle containing hazardous materials for some period of time on each and every workday. The Court also held that plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged the breach of an express contract (so Lincare’s demurrer should not have been sustained). The Court affirmed summary adjudication of plaintiffs’ claims for failure to pay for on-call time worked after a less-than-eight-hour-weekday shift and for breach of an implied-in-fact contract.