Pabst v. Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co.
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
228 F.3d 1128 (2000)
Pabst, Gilley, and Barton (the technicians) (plaintiffs) worked as electronic technicians for the Oklahoma Gas & Electric Company (OGE) (defendant). The technicians monitored heat, fire, and security systems in several OGE buildings. They were on call from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. The alarms for the systems went to home computers or pagers. The technicians were required to carry pagers at all times and to respond within 15 minutes (originally 10 minutes). The pagers were somewhat unreliable, so the technicians remained near their homes while on call. The technicians responded to about three to five alarms per night, spending about 45 minutes on each response. Some alarms could be fixed remotely by computer, and others required a technician to return to an OGE building. The technicians reported as compensable time only some of the alarms that they answered. The technicians’ sleep schedules were severely disrupted, and they claimed that they rarely were able to sleep more than five hours uninterrupted in a night. They also claimed that they were unable to engage in many personal pursuits while on call because they had to check their home computers frequently. The technicians brought an action against OGE for failure to compensate for on-call time in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The district court found that the technicians’ on-call time was compensable. OGE appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lucero, J.)
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