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Double shift spanning two work weeks California

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  • Double shift spanning two work weeks California

    Well, I do believe I allowed myself to get hosed by my company.

    Our workweek was just changed from Sunday-Saturday to Saturday-Friday. The company defines a workday as 12:01am-Midnight.

    Friday night we worked a double shift. We are considered second shift. Our regular hours are 5pm-1:30am. I assumed that the law stated anything worked over 8 hours consecutively was considered OT and anything over 12 hours consecutively was DT. Our double shift went from 5pm Friday, to 10am Saturday. Apparently, because we went into a new workweek/workday at 12:01am Saturday, our hours started over. I take this to mean that from 12:01am to 8:30am we will receive standard pay and from 8:30am to 10am we will receive overtime pay.

    I thought the labor laws were there to protect employees from shady practices of their employers. It doesn't seem to me that allowing the employer to define a workday is in the employees interest at all. Wouldn't it be a better idea to have a workday defined as the 24 hour period following our start time? In my case 5pm-4:59pm. Or why not anything over 8 hours consecutively instead of 8 hours in a "workday." If I had understood the policy at the time, I would not have worked the double shift. This seems extremely unfair and does little to instill good feelings towards my company.

  • #2
    The way the law (FLSA) is currently worded (and has been worded since at least the 1930s) is that the employer gets to establish the workweek. CA uses the federal workweek to determine the workday for purposes of the CA daily overtime rules.

    I have worked for employers that had a dozen or more different shifts and schedules in dozens of states, but every one of these employers used a single workweek definition for all employees in all states. Why in theory an employer could use a different workweek definition for different employees or different shifts/schedules, I have never seen a payroll or time accounting system capable of supporting it.

    Still, if you want to change the law, you will need to change both the federal FLSA law, and the CA labor code.


    It was not your question, but there are federal rules that applies the period in which a change in workweek definion occurs that you might want to look at.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply. Our workweek changed not last weekend, but the weekend previous and we didn't work that weekend so I don't think the overlapping provision would apply here.

      What I realized is even more unfair is that anyone working the day shift wouldn't neccessarily run into this situation since their overtime hours would occur before the midnight deadline. It's really only the second shift people that have the largest potential to get hosed. I'm not sure if I should consider that discriminatory... but that's just wishful thinking.

      Another question. I thought I remembered hearing about a law stating that if you're called into work for a regular shift and you are sent home after less than 4 hours, the company is required to pay your for at least four hours worth of work. Assuming this law exists, would that meant that when my new workday start at 12:01am and I then go home at 1:30am, shouldn't that mean that the company has to pay me for an addition two and a half hours for that partial shift? I'm just grasping at straws now, of course...


      • #4
        CA reporting time rules.
        "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
        Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


        • #5
          Thank you much.

          It appears that since I'm regularly scheduled to only work that first hour and a half, I am not technically being sent home early so I do not qualify for Reporting Time Pay.

          Now to go about getting this loop hole taken care of. I still feel that working 16 hours in a row and not being properly compensated due to weird workday/workweek provisions is an oversight.