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Employers Catch a “Day of Rest”

The California Supreme Court just issued an opinion this past Monday, May 8, 2017, in Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc. which impacts many employers whose businesses operate every day of the week, Monday – Sunday.   What constitutes a “day of rest” under the California Labor Code?  Currently, California law entitles employees (with exceptions) to 1 day’s rest in a workweek (which can be defined by the employer) and prohibits employers from “causing” an employee to work more than 6 days out of 7.  But what does that mean exactly?

The Court made clear that the California Labor Code intended for employees to have a “day of rest each week” to be “conducive to their health and well-being”, not to prevent them from ever working more than six consecutive days at any one time.  (Mendoza opinion pg. 14) As a result of this clarification by the High Court, it is clear to employers that employees can work more than six consecutive days at any one time, as long as each work week contains a day of rest.  For example, if an employee takes off Monday one week but the following week takes off Friday, there would be no violation found against the employer under the Labor Code as each work week consisted only of 6 days of work.  Some exceptions do exist, including employees who work shifts of six hours or less every single day of their workweek; or, when an employee chooses to forgo the right to their “day of rest” as long as they are fully informed before doing so.

Being an employer is tough! To ensure you are providing the proper time off for your employees and are compliant with California law, contact the attorneys at Chauvel & Glatt.


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