Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc.Annotate this Case
Former ABM security guards filed a class action, alleging that ABM failed to provide rest periods required by California law in that it failed to relieve security guards of all duties during rest breaks, instead requiring its guards to remain on call during breaks. ABM admitted it requires its security guards to keep their radios and pagers on during rest breaks, to remain vigilant, and to respond when needs arise, such as when a tenant wishes to be escorted to the parking lot, a building manager must be notified of a mechanical problem, or an emergency situation occurs. The trial court certified a class and granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary adjudication, concluding an employer must relieve its employees of all duties during rest breaks, including the obligation to remain on call and that ABM was subject to approximately $90 million in statutory damages, interest, penalties, and attorney fees. The court of appeal reversed. Labor Code section 226.7 prescribes only that an employee not be required to work on a rest break, not that the employee be relieved of all duties, such as the duty to remain on call. Remaining on call does not itself constitute performing work.