In the case of Troester v. Starbucks, Troester claimed that Starbucks failed to compensate him and other employees for closing tasks (e.g. locking the door, turning off the lights, setting the alarm, etc.) that were routine recurring tasks of closing responsibilities that happened after clocking out at the end of their shifts. Troester further claimed that he spent on average 4-10 minutes on closing tasks after clocking out each day. Starbucks claimed the de minimis doctrine which states that employers need not compensate employees for insignificant amounts of time spent performing work-related tasks off-of-the clock because administratively the time is too challenging to track.
Because the off-the-clock tasks were routine, the court held that the time had to be compensated, adding that with the today’s technologies tracking time should be easier. This sent shockwaves to California employers to ensure all employees performing work-related tasks while clocked out should be tracked and compensated no matter how minimal the time may be.