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. 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. Of course, this brief paragraph does not sum up the whole of this issue. Like with all of California’s labor laws, there are exceptions.
If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “My employer has me scheduled for the next nine days, one day off, and then 10 days back on…I have an employee rights dispute!” think again. The Labor Code does require one day of rest out of seven. However, it does not stipulate when that one day of rest must occur. Section 554 provides employers with leeway in how to offer those days of rest, which could account for your crazy 10 days on, one day off schedule.
According to Section 554, employees are not necessarily entitled to one day of rest in a period of seven days. Rather, they are entitled to one day off for every six days they work in the same calendar month. To be sure, if an employer “reasonably requires” someone to work for 21 days in a row, he or she is allowed to do so as long as he or she gives the employee three days off at some time throughout the month.
Exceptions to the Rule
While Section 554 does provide for some exemptions, these exemptions apply to only a handful of occupational fields, including agriculture and the railroad, and only in instances in which it is necessary for the employee to be present to protect life or property. Employers are required to inform employees that such instances might occur and that, in accepting employment, the employee also agrees to forego his or her seventh day of rest.
Employees Who Work Only Part-Time
These regulations are not applicable for workers who work less than six hours a day or 30 hours a week, in most cases. It would be presumptuous for employers to assume that just because they schedule an employee for six hours a day that he or she can make that employer work every day of the month. The code makes stipulations for part-time workers, stating that part-time workers are only exempt if their employment hours amount to less than 30 hours a week. If a worker works more than 30 hours in a given workweek, he or she is entitled to a day of rest.
Consult With a Los Angeles Workplace Rights Attorney
All employees deserve a day off, even if they only work a few hours each day. However, if you work six to eight hours every day and do not receive a rest day for every seven days worked, you may have an employee rights violation case on your hands. Discuss your case with a knowledgeable workplace rights lawyer—call the Workplace Rights Law Group to schedule a free case evaluation today.