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Unsure about time between shifts California

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  • Unsure about time between shifts California

    my shift is the night one from 10pm to 7am, and this Saturday we have a mandatory meeting from 9am - 1pm

    can i argue the 2 hours between 7-9am

    is there a minimum time between shifts that my employer needs to allow me before having to just pay for that time?

  • #2
    With limited industry- and state-specific exceptions, there is no general requirement that there be any particular number of hours between shifts. The exceptions that do exist are mostly if not entirely when there is a public safety factor (airline pilots, truck drivers, in some states nurses, etc.).

    I will let someone else explain CA's split shift rule.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


    • #3
      I thought meetings didn't count toward split shift premiums in CA - along with other things that aren't considered actual time worked? But they do count toward overtime?

      Usually you just have to have 8 hours between shifts but as far as I know in CA unless it's actually time worked, it doesn't count toward the split shift premium.

      I could be wrong but that's what my lawyer told me when I filed my lawsuit against a company I worked for a while back.


      • #4
        In most industries, in all states, there is no eight-hours-between-shifts law.

        There are some exceptions in industries that have a public safety factor (airline pilots, long haul truckers, in some states nurses) but no state has such a law for general employment.

        Of course, you might have been in one of the industries that had such an exception, or perhaps had a binding contract or policy that said so - that's always possible.

        I'd still prefer that DAW, Barry or Walter explained the split shift law.
        The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.


        • #5
          Split shift premium is such a weird law.

          First off, it depends on your work day. Most companies work days start at 12:01 and run to midnight but as long as it is stated, it can be any consecutive 24 hour period.

          I would err on paying the premium but thats based on how much you make. You are eligible for split shift pay if there is a break between shifts. The rule of thumb I've always heard is if it allows you enough time to not be considered a lunch break. We go off of anything over 1.5 hours as a break in the day.


          • #6
            Originally posted by cbg View Post
            I'd still prefer that DAW, Barry or Walter explained the split shift law.
            I have given up explaining the CA split shift rule (not law). You can find it in the Wage Orders under the Minimum Wage section. I know what it says but am unsure on what it means. I have been unable to find any explanation from CA-DLSE and am not willing at this point to take a strongly held personal opinion from another responder as gospel. The OP can try calling up CA-DLSE and ask them.

            Just to be clear, meeting time very certainly is "hours worked" under federal law (FLSA). Now as far as not counting for purposes of split shifts - any thing is possible. But is this something that is actually documented somewhere, and if so, could a source be provided?
            "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
            Philip K. **** (1928-1982)


            • #7
              Well, I know that meetings are considered WAGES the same way an extra hour of pay for missing a meal break is considered WAGES... but from what I was told, they differ in the sense that while meetings can be counted toward overtime hours worked for 8 hours in the day or 40 hrs in the workweek, the compensation for missing a meal break doesn't add another hour to your time worked and thus doesn't give you an extra hour of time WORKED, but it does raise your overtime premium pay by factoring it back into your hourly wage for that particular day IF you worked overtime hours already.

              I guess what I'm trying to say is that while some things count as "hours worked" and will count toward earning vacation hours, sick hours, overtime, etc. others don't.

              I don't understand the split shift rule entirely, either. I was hoping someone could give a definitive answer on that as well.

              I constantly work split shifts with 3 hours in between shifts and formerly had employees working split shifts and I never knew how to properly compensate them for their hours.

              Here's how I would interpret it:

              If I had an employee working 10pm-7am and then 9am-1pm, the first two hours from 10pm-midnight would count for one workday while the other 7 hours from midnight-7am would count for hours worked on the NEXT day. And then 9am-1pm would count as 4 more hours for that day.

              So the first day would have 2 hours, and the next day would have 7+4 hours for 11 hours. There are only 2 hours between shifts so I would definitely think the split shift pay of one hour would apply, however, from what I was told by the DOL previously - if the split shift is only to attend a meeting and not an actual shift, the "split shift" differential doesn't apply.

              I also talked to the DOL concerning being required to attend meetings and certifications that I was being paid hourly wages for and they said they don't count toward overtime or holiday pay. Maybe my circumstance was different, but they said literally that unless it was literal hours worked it only counts as wages and not hours worked for the purposes of calculating overtime and other premium pay.

              Don't take my word for it though, there may have been circumstances in my situation that made it that way that wouldn't apply to anyone else, so really call the DOL and talk to them about it and give them as much detail as possible!!!

              I just wanted to share my personal experience with the split shift situation.


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