California’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) released an updated Frequently Asked Questions page for rest break compliance (“Rest Break FAQ”). The most significant revisions that employers need to know concern compliance with Augustus v. ABM Securities. We previously posted about Augustus, the December 2016 California Supreme Court decision that holds on-call rest breaks are not permitted under California law. (http://suttonhague.com/ca-high-court-says-call-rest-periods-violate-law-reinstates-90-million-award/) Under California law, employees must be “relieved from all work-related duties and free from employer control.”
Prior to Augustus, most employers believed they could lawfully require employees to remain on the premises during rest breaks because this time was paid. Indeed, the prior version of DLSE’s Rest Break FAQ said just that – keeping employees on-premises was fine because the time was paid. The new Rest Break FAQ, revised in November 2017, specifically states that employers cannot require workers to remain on-premises during rest breaks. It also states that employers cannot require workers to remain in radio contact during their rest breaks.
Employers are reminded that rest breaks, like meal periods, must be duty-free and all employer control must be relinquished during that time.
The full revised Rest Break FAQ can be found here: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_RestPeriods.htm
This and other wage and hour issues will be discussed during SHLC’s upcoming Live Seminar: Wage and Hour Law for California Employers, sponsored by Tri Counties Bank, on March 7, 2018. For more information, visit http://suttonhague.com/events/?event_id1=149.