So, A) Am I correct on my compensation interpretation?, and B) Where would I find sleep-time requirements?
In the recent case of Mendiola v. CPS SECURITY SOLUTIONS, INC., 217 Cal.App.4th 851 (Cal. App. 4th 2013), the California 4th District Court of Appeals made a decision which closely aligns to the facts you describe relating to your spouse. More important than the decision itself, is the discussion of the various issues surrounding on-call and sleep time:
- In resolving the degree to which employees are able to engage in private pursuits during on-call time, courts generally apply seven factors: “ ‘(1) whether there was an on-premises living requirement; (2) whether there were excessive geographical restrictions on [the] employee's movements; (3) whether the frequency of calls was unduly restrictive; (4) whether a fixed time limit for response was unduly restrictive; (5) whether the on-call employee could easily trade on-call responsibilities; (6) whether use of a pager could ease restrictions; and (7) whether the employee had actually engaged in personal activities during call-in time.’
- The court granted the request and entered an order enjoining CPS from (1) “continuing to violate [Wage Order No. 4], ․ and Labor Code § 1194 through CPS's application of an unlawful ‘On-call’ policy for Trailer Guards, which does not compensate for all time spent by the Trailer Guards at the worksites during ‘On-call’ time, which is generally between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., and is specified in each ‘On-call’ agreement between the employer and each Trailer Guard” and (2) “failing to pay California Trailer Guards for all hours worked during ‘On Call’ time.
In sum, the sort of on-call requirements of your husband's job almost certainly require that he be paid minimum wage while waiting for an assignment. However, it's unlikely that the sleep requirements would require similar compensation, unless your husband is sleeping at his employer's location, or in his truck.
What is potentially important, is that if your husband is being required to work more than 6 days in 7, then the minimum wage may be increased on day 7 to time and a half -- and unless he is given a day off for each seventh day worked during any calendar month, then he would be entitled to damages for the violation including the unpaid overtime, liquidated damages (twice the minimum wage), plus $50 for the first seventh day violation, and $100 for every subsequent violation.
Concerning the relevant general laws, IWC Order #9-2001 applies to tow drivers.
Please let me know if my answer is helpful, or if I can provide further clarification or assistance.