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Thread: Let's Clarify Split-Shift Laws... California

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Let's Clarify Split-Shift Laws... California

    Hi there,

    I am a non-exempt employee at a veterinary hospital. I have been recently scheduled to work for 5 to 6 hours, then have a 3 hour break, and return to work for another 2 hours.
    As far as I have been able to dig up on the California state labor website, it seems that the definition of a shift becoming a split shift is being scheduled away for more than 60 minutes, but I have not been able to locate the exact statute where this definition exists.
    Anyway, this is how I understand it: if I am required to report back to work after an employer-imposed non-work time of more than 60 minutes, I am entitled to an additional hour's pay at the minimum wage.

    Can someone please confirm this for me?

    Thank you,
    Pickles

  2. #2
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    Review the following opinion letter made available by the CA DLSE: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/opinions/2002-12-11.pdf

    Keep in mind that split shift pay is usually only provided for those who are paid at or near the minimum wage. Why it is interpreted that way, I couldn't tell you.

  3. #3
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    The OP might want to contact CA-DLSE directly. IMO, this is an issue that CA-DLSE has gone out of its way to not be clear on.
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
    Philip K. **** (1928-1982)

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mcarson87 View Post
    Why it is interpreted that way, I couldn't tell you.
    My understanding of the split shift rule is that it's part of the minimum wage. CA doesn't really care how much money you make as long as you make at least the minumum wage. So when a split shift occurs you need to check to see that the employee works at least the minimum wage by doing the calculation.

    Let's say the OP works 6 hours, has a split, then works 2 hours and is paid $10/hour. At straight time the OP gets 8hoursx$10=$80 gross. The split calc is 8 hours plus a bonus hour=9hoursx$8=$72. So the OP is making at least the minimum wage and no bonus is due--the extra amount the OP makes over and above the minimum counts against the "bonus hour" of the split. If the OP was making $8.50 an hour, gross would be $64 and would be owed an extra $4 for the split.

    Past a certain point the bonus hour is irrelevant because the amount you make over and above the minimum wage counts against the bonus hour which is why it's only provided for those who are paid at or near the minimum.

    Hope that doesn't confuse more than it helps.

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