Technological setbacks can try anyone’s patience–whether it’s waiting for your computer to boot up, software to load, or upgrades to finish.

Recently, questions about whether nonexempt employees must be paid for this type of waiting time have reached the courts.

Here are the details from two cases:

In Peterson v. Nelnet Diversified Solutions, LLC, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals said call center employees’ computer-related, pre-shift activities were compensable under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

That’s because use of the computer was integral and indispensable to their jobs–unlike employees who, say, might use handheld devices to access daily work assignments.

Before employees at Nelnet could carry out their jobs, some steps they had to take were waking up their computers, inserting their security badges and waiting for their computers to load the company’s intranet so they could link to the timekeeping system.

That added up to about two minutes. Although the lower court had said that was de minimis, the appeals court ruled it wasn’t.

In another case, Garcia v. Vertical Screen Inc., employees sought unpaid overtime, based on time they spent waiting to get onto their computers.

Their job was to research info about job applicants for corporations, etc. Before they could begin working, they said they were on hold–for five, 10, sometimes 30 minutes–while their computers started and their timekeeping software launched.

The company asserted the employees spent only one to three minutes per day in front of their computers before clocking in. To prove that, Vertical Screen wanted to compare swipe card reports (showing when employees entered the building) with timekeeping data (indicating when the timekeeping software clocked them in).

The federal district court wouldn’t accept that proof, though. Reason? The swipe card reports weren’t comprehensive enough.

So a jury would need to sort through how much time employees actually spent doing pre-shift tasks.