Supreme Court of California Addresses ‘Day of Rest’ Requirement
Court Addresses Various Questions
The Supreme Court of California has issued an opinion addressing various questions under the state day of rest requirement.
Under California law, every person employed in any occupation is generally entitled to 1 day’s rest every 7 days. No employer may cause its employees to work more than 6 days every 7 days. However, these provisions do not apply to any employer or employee when the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or 6 hours in any one day of the week.
Questions and Answers
In its opinion, the court answered the following questions regarding the provisions above:
Q1. Is the day of rest required by the provisions above calculated by the workweek, or does it apply on a rolling basis to any 7-consecutive-day period?
A1. A day of rest is guaranteed for each workweek. Periods of more than 6 consecutive days of work that stretch across more than 1 workweek are not per se prohibited.
Q2. Does the exemption noted above for workers employed 6 hours or less per day apply so long as an employee works 6 hours or less on at least 1 day of the applicable week, or does it apply only when an employee works no more than 6 hours on each and every day of the week?
A2. The exemption for employees working shifts of 6 hours or less applies only to those who never exceed 6 hours of work on any day of the workweek. If on any one day an employee works more than 6 hours, a day of rest must be provided during that workweek (subject to whatever other exceptions might apply).
Q3. What does it mean for an employer to “cause” an employee to go without a day of rest: force, coerce, pressure, schedule, encourage, reward, permit, or something else?
A3. An employer causes its employee to go without a day of rest when it induces the employee to forgo rest to which he or she is entitled. However, an employer is not forbidden from permitting or allowing an employee—fully apprised of the entitlement to rest—independently to choose not to take a day of rest.
Click here to read the opinion. Employers with questions as to the decision’s impact on workplace policies and practices are advised to contact a knowledgeable employment law attorney.