From Door to Desk(top): The Portal-to-Portal Act in the Digital Age


This note examines wage and hour litigation in the context of booting up and shutting down computers in call centers and the problem of analogizing physical work to digital work under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Pajda argues that by viewing computers as workplaces rather than tools for the purposes of determining whether booting up and shutting down computers are compensable workplace activities, courts can bypass the fact intensive inquiry on whether these actions are “integral and indispensable” to the work of the employee and provide clear guidelines to employers on what needs to be compensated. Pajda further argues that by analogizing computers to workplaces, employees and unions could bargain for contracts that circumscribe a default rule that booting up and shutting down computers is non-compensable.


intellectual property, call center, Fair Labor Standards Act, Busk, Integrity Staffing, intrinsic element, integral, indispensible, digital, employment law, portal-to-portal, Department of Labor, traditional approach, Steiner, shift, principal activities, compensable work, digital workplace



Colin Pajda (J.D. (2018) Washington University School of Law)



Publication details



All rights reserved

Peer Review

This article has not been peer reviewed.

File Checksums (MD5)

  • pdf: 1fcdc2a08db7702400774209973b7e17