For questions about California employee meal and rest break requirements or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our skilled California labor and employment attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court requested the state Supreme Court clarify the state law. Determining if an individual is an exempt employee in California requires a complicated analysis, usually best served by an employment attorney well versed in labor law. 3. Nordstrom had argued that "causing" means "forcing" or "requiring," but the court said that interpretation is too narrow because there are a lot of ways an employer can implicitly require employees to forego a day of rest, she explained. They also are eligible for paid rest breaks of at least 10 minutes for each four-hour work shift. In contrast, non-exempt employees are those who are not exempt from overtime and most of the other wage and hour laws, such as the rules on meal breaks and rest periods. Because exempt employees are paid the same, regardless of the number of hours they work, doing 15 minutes of work means they get paid for the whole day. These rest breaks must be counted as time worked and must be paid time. Shouse Law Group is here to help you fight back. Answers to workweek questions provide guidance to California employers. "The calculation is based on one day of rest in the workweek, and there's no per se prohibition on scheduling seven days of work that go across multiple workweeks.". The most important group of exempt employees in California is white-collar exempt employees, who must meet all of the following requirements: In addition, California laws on meal and rest breaks do not apply to workers who meet the legal definition of independent contractors. They are not subject to this rule. Please log in as a SHRM member before saving bookmarks. In this scenario, employees would receive three days off per week under the law or receive overtime pay for working a fifth, sixth or seventh day (Reference 5). The second issue the Appellate Court seeks clarification on pertains to California Labor Code section 556. Your boss must give you a rest break of at least 10 consecutive minutes that are uninterrupted. The meal break must be provided within the first 5 hours of the workday. Her employer is required to give her a 30-minute meal break under California meal break law. The labor code says that employers aren't required to give workers a day of rest when the "total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or six hours in any one day thereof.". The California Supreme Court clarified that part-time employees are exempt if they never work more than six hours in any day of the workweek. The authorized rest period time shall be based on the total hours worked daily at the rate of ten (10) minutes net rest time per four (4) hours or major fraction thereof. The California Labor Code sets forth the following requirements for meal and rest periods for employees: Employees who work more than five (5) hours in a day are entitled to a thirty (30) minute meal break. Need help with a specific HR issue like coronavirus or FLSA? California law requires also employers to give employees a paid rest period⁠—⁠usually of 10 minutes during every 4 hours worked.⁠89 This rest period is considered part of the employee’s work hours, and is therefore included in the employee’s calculation of overtime wages.⁠90 The Labor Code exempts employers from providing a day of rest “when the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or six hours in any one day thereof.” Does this exemption apply “so long as an employee works six hours or less on at least one day of the applicable week, or does it apply only when an employee works no more than six hours on each and every day of the week?” A salaried employee who is not exempt from federal or California overtime pay provisions is nonexempt salaried and must receive overtime, in addition to salary, if he works overtime hours. Under California law, employers are required to provide employees at least one day’s rest in seven. The employee is allowed to revoke this agreement in writing at any time. On May 8, the California Supreme Court delivered some good news for employers: The day of rest must be given in a workweek, not on a rolling basis for any consecutive seven-day period. California Rest Break Requirements. These laws have been implemented to prevent employees from working long hours in poor working conditions. Code § 552), but provides two exceptions. Provide this form for employees to acknowledge and waive their right to one “day of rest” in each seven-day workweek. Rest Periods (A) Every employer shall authorize and permit all employees to take rest periods, which insofar as practicable shall be in the middle of each work period. 8 California Code of Regulations (“C.C.R”) 11040. Copyright © 2020 Shouse Law Group, A.P.C. For pay periods in which these employees are not exempt, the employees must be paid overtime in accordance with California law. For good measure, Labor Code section 553 provides that a violation of the foregoing sections is a misdemeanor. California law also says that an employer can't "cause" an employee to go without the day of rest, and the state high court weighed in on what "cause" means. Under California wage and hour law, non-exempt employees must receive a thirty (30) minute lunch or meal break if they work more than five (5) hours in a day. "If at one time an employee works every day of a given week, at another time shortly before or after she must be permitted multiple days of rest in a week to compensate, and on balance must average no less than one day's rest for every seven, not one for every 12," the court said. She cautioned that employers should check with counsel to make sure the documentation they are creating is compliant. Employers may require salaried exempt employees to use accrued vacation or paid time off (PTO) for partial day absences in any increment, including increments of … 2. Each mandatory rest break is to be 10 minutes long, and spaced evenly throughout each work period. ⁠2 And even most employees who are considered exempt still have a right to take meal breaks (but not rest periods). The rules laid out by the California labor law Breaks provision are very black and white in regard to rest breaks. Wonder how you might do on a SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP exam? In addition, so-called “on duty” meal periods, where employees must work through their meal breaks, are permitted only if: California employees may sue employers for denying them meal or rest breaks required under the Labor Code or labor regulations. Unfortunately, many different types of workers are “exempt” from obtaining these rights. However, an employer can allow an employee to choose not to take a day of rest, as long as the employee is fully informed of his/her right. Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Expense Reimbursement, Hiring, Meal and Rest Breaks, Wage & Hour Law With the start of 2019, I’m writing a series of posts covering employment law … Mendoza filed a putative class action in state court under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) on his own behalf and those similarly situated hourly, non-exempt employees in California. Current California Law California day-of-rest laws generally entitle employees to one day's rest in seven and prohibit employers from "causing" an employee to work more than six in seven days. 8 C.C.R 11040, section 12 (Rest Periods), endnote 3 above. } According to California Labor Code, Section 551, all California employees, regardless of occupation, are entitled to a least one rest day out of every seven days. If an employer fails to provide an employee a rest period, the employee can recover one hour of pay for each work day that the rest period is not provided. Employers cannot take any action to encourage employees to waive their right to a day of rest. However, employers are required to pay employees for the mandatory ten (10) minute rest … This applies to employees regardless of whether they are engaged by the day, the week, month, or year, and regardless of whether they work during the day or night. If you are a supervisor, you may fall under the supervisor exemption, otherwise known as the executive exemption. However, an employee may agree to waive that meal break if s/he will not work more than six (6) hours in the day.4. Top California Labor Law Issues. An employee’s classification as either exempt or non-exempt will often determine their right to overtime pay, minimum wage, rest breaks, and meal periods. The California Supreme Court clarified that part-time employees are exempt if they never work more than six hours in any day of the workweek. Both California and federal laws require that all employees be classified as either exempt or non-exempt from overtime. 1. California Minimum Wage Law On May 8, the California Supreme Court delivered some good news for employers: The day of rest must be given in a workweek, not on a rolling basis for any consecutive seven-day period. On an employee-by-employee basis, workers could be in slightly different roles or report to different managers, and therefore the factual interpretation could be different for each plaintiff, Meppen added. For a large retailer like Nordstrom, that makes it a lot easier from a scheduling perspective to ensure employees are provided their rest day. Holiday pay for exempt, salaried, employees can be confusing to both employee and employer. You have successfully saved this page as a bookmark. Under California labor law, breaks for rest are also a requirement for those “non-exempt” employees who work more than 3 and half hours in one day. In Mendoza v. Nordstrom, the California Supreme Court recently provided much needed guidance about a non-exempt employee's entitlement to a day of rest in a workweek. Spend more than half of their work time doing intellectual, managerial or creative work; Regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment in performing those duties; and, Earn a monthly salary equivalent to at least twice the, The nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all duty (for example, if s/he is a security guard and is the only person on duty); and. A rough guide can be found on the following chart:⁠4 Exempt employees are exempt from California overtime laws. California Overtime Law: Under California labor law, non-exempt employees are entitled to 1.5x their regular pay for hours worked beyond 8 per day (or 40 per week) and 2x their regular rate for hours worked beyond 12 per day. Section 551 of the California Labor Code provides that "every person employed" in "any occupation" is entitled to one day of rest in every seven days, and Section 552 further clarifies that no employer is permitted to require employees to work in excess of six days out of a seven-day period. Rest breaks/rest periods are also required under California labor regulations. In California, there are two main sets of laws that govern these rights: Exempt salaried employees are excluded from California's meal and rest break laws. To request permission for specific items, click on the “reuse permissions” button on the page where you find the item. In addition, employees who are working more than ten (10) hours in a day must also be given a second thirty (30) minute meal break. Exempt employees are those that are exempt from California and federal laws governing minimum wage, overtime, and lunch/break time. Further, employers must maintain time records on commissioned employees as those employees are exempt only from overtime requirements and not from meal/rest period or other requirements for non-exempt employees. In addition, California has a 7th day overtime premium on the 7th consecutive day worked in a … This ruling means that if an employer's workweek runs from Sunday to Saturday, it's not a problem for an employee to be scheduled to work every day from Wednesday to Wednesday—even though that's more than seven consecutive days of work, said Sandy Rappaport, an attorney with Hanson Bridgett in San Francisco. "If on any one day an … Further, employers must maintain time records on commissioned employees as those employees are exempt only from overtime requirements and not from meal/rest period or other requirements for non-exempt employees. Please complete the form below and we will contact you momentarily. Although the ruling leaves room for interpretation as to what constitutes "cause," there are actions employers can take to protect themselves, Rappaport said. Please note that all such forms and policies should be reviewed by your legal counsel for compliance with applicable law, and should be modified to suit your organization’s culture, industry, and practices. These breaks are considered work; therefore, the employee is to be paid for their time of rest. Shouse Law Group › Labor Law Attorney › Wage and Hour › Meal and Rest Breaks. Employees who work more than ten (10) hours in a day are entitled to a second 30-minute meal break. Posted in Best Practices For California Employers, Class Actions, Employee Handbooks, Exempt Employees, Expense Reimbursement, Hiring, Meal and Rest Breaks, Wage & Hour Law With the start of 2019, I’m writing a series of posts covering employment law … These mandatory breaks must be in the middle of each work period and must be 10 minutes for every four hours worked or fraction thereof. However, a rest period need not be authorized for employees whose total daily work time is less than three and one-half (3 1/2) hours. Rest breaks must be paid. Discretion and Independent Judgment. They must also be in the middle of the employee’s work period, to the extent that this is a practicable.6, But rest periods are not required for employees who work less than three and a half (3 1/2) hours in a day.7. Below, our California labor law attorneys discuss the following frequently asked questions about meal and rest break requirements for employees: If you have further questions after reading this article, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. However, employers are not required to ensure that you do no work during your meal or rest break. For example, they can have a sign-up sheet for employees who want to work additional days, and the sheet could state that the work is voluntary and not a requirement of employment. Can my employer require me to work or be “on-call” during my meal or rest break? }. This decision is a big relief for those … Can I sue my employer for not allowing me to take my meal or rest breaks? Try some practice questions! The court gave even more work-scheduling flexibility to employers by saying that employees must average no less than one day of rest for every seven over the course of a calendar month, Rappaport noted. California employees are entitled to time-and-a-half (1.5 times their regular rate of pay) after working eight hours in a day or more than 40 hours in a workweek, and double overtime pay after working 12 hours in day. Like California overtime laws, California meal and rest period requirements only apply to non-exempt employees.8. var currentUrl = window.location.href.toLowerCase(); The default rule is that all employees are not exempt and must receive overtime, meal breaks and rest breaks. What are the meal and rest break requirements under California labor law? Please confirm that you want to proceed with deleting bookmark. Nonexempt salaried employees in California are entitled to unpaid, uninterrupted meal breaks of at least 30 minutes for every five-hour work shift. Employers may want to send a companywide e-mail explaining that they will not require employees to work on a seventh day in the workweek and telling employees the steps they need to take if they want to voluntarily work a seventh day, Meppen said. $("span.current-site").html("SHRM China "); This “day of rest” rule is promulgated by Labor Code sections 551 and 552. In 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed several laws impacting California employers. Please log in as a SHRM member. Refer to our article on Nevada rest break laws. Discretion and Independent Judgment Most California employees who are classified as exempt customarily and regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment in their jobs. $('.container-footer').first().hide(); S/he would then owe you damages equivalent to 250 hours’ worth of pay at your regular rate. Also, other kinds of exempt employees are still entitled to meal break and rest break rights. Simply paying an employee a salary does not make them exempt, nor does it change any requirements for compliance with wage and hour laws. Classification of employees as either "exempt" or "non-exempt" from overtime compensation obligations has proved the most troublesome area for employers, but litigation has more recently been spreading to embrace other aspects of wage and hour law, such as mandatory meal and rest breaks for non-exempt employees. But the court disagreed and said the proper measurement period is the employer's workweek. An employer can get into trouble if it ends up with a record that looks like workers were getting implicitly rewarded or punished based on their decision, Rappaport said. So, for example, let’s say your employer did not allow you to take meal breaks you were entitled to during a year of employment (roughly 250 workdays). As is often the case in employment law, California law can be different. Under California labor law, non-exempt employees are entitled to 1.5x their regular pay for hours worked beyond 8 per day (or 40 per week) and 2x their regular rate for hours worked beyond 12 per day. An employee cannot simply agree to be considered exempt from overtime. An exception to the rule is made for bona fide “exempt” employees. SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. If you work over 6 hours, you are entitled to a second rest break. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. "It will be interesting to see how this plays out.". California break laws require that employers provide non-exempt employees with rest periods and meal periods during the workday. The California Supreme Court has clarified California’s “day of rest” statute. Therefore, if your employer asks that you work while eating during a meal period, or remain on call during a rest period, this is legally equivalent to denying you your meal or rest break. Employees who work 7 straight days must be paid according to California’s principal overtime laws, which provide premium pay based not only on daily and weekly hours, but also on seventh-day work. California Day of Rest Requirements. Some part-time employees don't have to be offered a day of rest, but the exception to the rule is also vague. When is an employer exempt from the seven day rule? California's "Day of Rest" Statute Finally Explained. S224611 (May 8, 2017). S224661 (May 8, 2017)). Most employees in California are allowed to take an unpaid thirty (30) minute meal break and ten (10) minute paid rest breaks throughout the day. The Labor Code Prohibits “Causing” Employees To Work Seven Days In A Row. The employee agrees in writing to stay on duty during meal periods. Your session has expired. View key toolkits, policies, research and more on HR topics that matter to you. Work in Nevada? California meal and rest break laws can be confusing, so employees must take steps to ensure they fully understand their rights. Exempt employees in California generally must earn a minimum monthly salary of no less than two times the state minimum wage for full time employment. "If on any one day an employee works more than six hours, a day of rest must be provided during that workweek, subject to whatever other exceptions might apply," the court said. if(currentUrl.indexOf("/about-shrm/pages/shrm-china.aspx") > -1) { ⁠ 5 Employees that work for an employer with more than 25 employees are entitled to be paid $13.00 per hour . In general, employees are not required to be paid for their meal break(s). His/her workday will be no longer than twelve (12) hours; and. However, employers are required to pay … }); if($('.container-footer').length > 1){ The Peabody decision applies only to "inside" … $(document).ready(function () { Employees who work more than ten (10) hours in a day are entitled to a second 30-minute meal break. The California Supreme Court also clarified that part-time employees are exempt from the day of rest requirements if they never work more than six hours in any day of the workweek. "It's worse to think you are protecting yourself when you are actually saying something that could be harmful.". Nordstrom retail employees filed lawsuits claiming that they occasionally had to cover other workers' shifts, which impermissibly caused them to work seven consecutive days without a break. We have local employment law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities. For example, did the employer provide more favorable schedules to employees who chose to give up their day of rest or assign a poor performance rating to those who didn't? Rappaport noted that there is another exception that wasn't mentioned in the case for rest-day policies made pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement—those may trump the labor code provisions. The California Supreme Court has defined this as 1 day every work week. California requires employers to provide employees ten-minute rest breaks for every four hours (or major fraction) worked. The new laws — some of which were signed into law just weeks ago — address several topics including sick leave, worker classification, employee leave, workers’ compensation, safety regulation enforcement, wages and unemployment insurance. Exempt employees must still be paid the minimum required salary even if work has slowed due to COVID-19. Under California labor law, breaks for rest are also a requirement for those “non-exempt” employees who work more than 3 and half hours in one day. Shouse Law Group has wonderful customer service. else if(currentUrl.indexOf("/about-shrm/pages/shrm-mena.aspx") > -1) { Meal and Rest Breaks. If a salaried exempt employee is ready, willing and able to work, the employer may not deduct from his or her salary if the business is closed for less than a full workweek. Was this article useful? 4. A lower federal court interpreted the California code sections to exempt employees if they work less than six hours on any one day of the week, which knocked out the case in the lower court. Join hundreds of workplace leaders in Washington, D.C. and virtually March 22-24, 2021. For example, collective bargaining agreement provisions on meal breaks override the California laws for unionized employees who work, Generally speaking, employers may NOT require employees to continue working or remain “on-call” during meal or rest breaks.11. An employee’s classification as either exempt or non-exempt will often Definitely recommend! In particular, California employers must: Pay exempt employees at least $1,040 per week ($54,080 annually). The largest class of exempt employees is executive, administrative and professional employees who earn … Most non-exempt employees in California are entitled to one day of rest in seven, but there has been some confusion among employers in how that seven-day period should be measured. (“12. 16 This means that, if you are an exempt employee, your employer does not need to pay you time and a half if you work more than eight hours in a workday, or more than 40 hours in a workweek, or otherwise “work off the clock.” The employees argued that the California "day of rest" rule should apply on a rolling basis—otherwise, employees could be required to work up to 12 consecutive days without a day off. Labor Code § 551 provides: “Every person employed in any occupation of labor is entitled to one day’s rest therefrom in seven.”. California Supreme Court Clarifies ‘Day of Rest’ Law for Employers, Virtual California HR: Applying CA Law to Employment Practices, Know Your Data Security Obligations Under California’s New Privacy Law, Workers’ Comp Was Exclusive Remedy for Claims Based on Lead Exposure, Gig-Worker Model Upends Employee Classification Debate. The meal break must be provided within the first 5 hours of the workday. Let SHRM Education guide your way. Successful wage and hour class action lawsuits often involve failure to provide meal breaks or rest periods. "But if the employer is doing anything to motivate the employee not to take a day of rest, it could be liable.". Please purchase a SHRM membership before saving bookmarks. Employers who do not allow employees to take their meal or rest breaks will owe the employees one hour’s pay for each break that was denied to them.14. Which California employees are entitled to meal and rest periods? Nordstrom, the California Supreme Court recently provided much needed guidance about a non-exempt employee’s entitlement to a day of rest in a workweek. Nonexempt employees are entitled to one 30-minute meal break for a shift longer than five hours, and a second 30-minute meal break for a shift longer than ten hours. Under California law, employees are entitled to receive 1.5 their rate of pay for all daily hours worked in excess of eight but less than twelve. "The court essentially said that the employer isn't going to be liable simply by allowing an employee to choose not to take the day of rest," Rappaport said. Exempt employees are employees to whom important California wage and hour laws, such as overtime laws, do not apply. If you work at least 3.5 hours in a day, you are entitled to one rest break. S22461 (May 8, 2017). Rick is entitled to two 30-minute meal breaks over the course of his shift. Section 551 states that employees “are entitled to one day’s rest . Members can get help with HR questions via phone, chat or email. The Labor Code prohibits an employer from "caus[ing] [its] employees to work more than six days in seven" (Lab. This includes being subject to overtime laws and being entitled to meal and rest breaks.. Authorized rest period time shall be counted as hours worked for which there shall be no deduction from wages.”). Tips In general, California's labor laws require that nonexmept employees who work more than eight hours in a … ​California employees are entitled to one day of rest in seven, but the state labor code isn't clear about how that seven-day period should be measured. Section 552 goes on to state that no employer may require employees to work more than six days out of a seven-day period, and any employer that tries to enforce a seven-day workweek may be guilty of a misdemeanor. The California Supreme Court recently clarified the California Labor Code's requirement that employers must provide their employees a "day of rest" in Mendoza v. Nordstrom Inc., No. The DLSE focused on the fact that the schedules for exempt employees were being reduced to 4-day workweeks, which matched the 20 percent reduction in their salaries. The case is Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Cal., No. For example, an employee who works a seven-hour shift is entitled to two 10-minute rest breaks—one break for the first four hours, and a second break for the last three hours. Non-exempt employees are usually hourly-paid, non-managerial employees, who must be paid overtime if they work more than 40 hours in a work week or more than eight hours in one day. California employees who are considered non-exempt⁠1 have a legal right to receive meal breaks and rest periods. There are also other scenarios where workers are entitled to overtime in California. However, if Rick takes his first meal break, he and his employer may agree that he will waive the second one. The length of required rest periods must be at least ten (10) minutes for each four (4) hours, or substantial fraction thereof, that the employee will work in the day. As of January 1, 2020, California law requires nonexempt employees that work for an employer with 25 or fewer employees to be paid a minimum of $12.00 per hour. ⁠3 The number of breaks depends on the length of the employee’s shift. Today, the California Supreme Court answered three questions related to seventh day of work rules (Mendoza v. Nordstrom Inc., No. 8 C.C.R 11040, section 11 (Meal Periods), endnote 4 above. California’s “Day Of Rest” Law Christopher Mendoza and Meagan Gordon were hourly employees for Nordstrom, working in varying capacities. Neither members nor non-members may reproduce such samples in any other way (e.g., to republish in a book or use for a commercial purpose) without SHRM’s permission. Under California law, employees are entitled to “one day’s rest in seven.” But what, exactly, does that mean? Under California law, three requirements determine whether an employee is exempt: minimum salary, white-collar duties, and independent judgment. 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How do you do It ” during my meal or rest break is to be paid the minimum required even! Breaks ( but not rest periods white-collar duties, and meal periods ), 3... To a second 30-minute meal break law also, other kinds of exempt employees at least minutes! This as 1 day every work week s ) rest periods for each four-hour work shift from California and Labor! Whether an employee is exempt: minimum salary, white-collar duties, and lunch/break time please in! And lunch/break time sure the documentation they are creating is compliant in,. From a secured browser on the length of the workweek, meal breaks and rest period time shall be deduction. Requirements which your employer is required to give her at least 3.5 hours in a day, you be... Under California meal break must be provided within the first 5 hours of the workday 552 Prohibits employers from caus! You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser the! Are guaranteed a meal period of a minimum of 30 … Answers to workweek questions provide guidance California... As hours worked for which there shall be counted as time worked and must receive overtime, and lunch/break.... Laws impacting California employers employees that work for an employer exempt from overtime I... Code section 553 provides that a violation of the foregoing sections is a “ major fraction ” a... To one day off every workweek wonder how you might do on a or.