Nicole Rice

Work week dispute ruling handed down

By Nicole Rice, Policy Director, Government Relations

Capitol Update, May 12, 2017

In a unanimous ruling handed down this week by the state Supreme Court in the case of Mendoza v. Nordstrom Inc., No. S224661 (May 8, 2017), Californians may be required to work more than six consecutive days without overtime as long as they don’t work more than six days in a single workweek, as defined by the employer. The court’s ruling establishes that premium pay is available not on a rolling basis for any seventh consecutive day of work but only when employees must work every day of an employer’s established regularly recurring workweek.

The California Supreme Court said the state’s Labor Code provision could be interpreted in two ways: under one interpretation, an employee scheduled to work more than six straight days over two weeks (for example, from Thursday of one week to Thursday of the following week) would be entitled to a rest day or time-and-a-half pay for overtime. The other interpretation would define each week separately (Monday through Sunday) and require a rest day or extra pay on the seventh day of work within that workweek. They ruled that “[a] day of rest is guaranteed for each workweek and periods of more than six consecutive days of work that stretch across more than one workweek are not per se prohibited.”

The court’s answer in this case promotes scheduling flexibility and provides guidance on how manufacturers can schedule employees.


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