Breaking News: California Prohibits On-Call and On-Duty Rest Periods

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All Employers with CA Employees

EFFECTIVE

December 22, 2016

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In Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., the California Supreme Court stated that the Labor Code and Wage Order 4 require employers to give employees off-duty rest periods, including relieving employees of all duties and relinquishing control over how employees spend their time.  As a result, the Supreme Court stated that on-call rest periods are also prohibited, because on-call “status compels employees to remain at the ready and capable of being summoned to action.”  In Augustus, security guard employees were required “to keep their radios and pagers on during rest breaks, to remain vigilant, and to respond when needs arise.”

The Court highlighted that, where it is difficult for an employer to provide a duty-free rest period, the employer can (1) provide employees with another rest period to replace the one that was interrupted, or (2) pay the premium pay required by Labor Code § 226.7 and applicable Wage Order.   Because of this ruling, the original $90 million verdict against the employer may be reinstated.

Action Items

  1. Review and revise meal and rest period policies and procedures to eliminate on-call and on-duty rest periods.
  2. Train managers to provide additional rest periods if employees’ rest periods are interrupted, or to notify payroll that premium pay is required.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2016 ManagEase, Incorporated.

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