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California’s Mandatory Seventh Day Off Rules

Each California employer is required to give employees at least one day off during the company’s defined seven-day workweek (e.g., Monday to Sunday; Sunday to Saturday). There are three main exceptions:

● the company may request an employee to work on the seventh day of a workweek if this is reasonably necessary, for example an unforeseen shortage of adequate workers due to illness or other factors.  The employee shall be entitled to receive applicable overtime for that day as well as equivalent rest days during the same calendar month;

● the employee, fully informed of his/her entitlement to the rest day, voluntarily chooses not to take that day in any seven-day workweek, in which case he/she must receive advance scheduling and overtime approval from his/her supervisor.  Such employees will receive applicable overtime pay but they will not be entitled to receive equivalent rest days during the same calendar month; and

● the employee works a seven-day workweek of no more than 30 hours and never more than six hours on any day of that workweek. Such employees will receive applicable overtime pay but they will not be entitled to receive equivalent rest days during the same calendar month.

This one-in-seven rule only applies to a business’s particular seven-day workweek and not on a “rolling” seven-day sequence. Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., 2 California Reports (Cal.) 5th 1074 (2017).

For example, with a company that defines the workweek as Monday through the following Sunday, it is possible for the employer to provide Monday off on a given week one and Sunday off on the following week, with 12 straight days of labor in-between.

A violation of the rules is a misdemeanor and subjects the employer to civil penalties.

Take-Aways:  Management must operate under policy and practice consistent with these rules.  Correct and thorough documentation, including the employee’s written acknowledgment, is vital for the worker opting for working on the seventh day.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin

See also:

Tim Bowles
April 7, 2022

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