Published on The National Law Review (http://www.natlawreview.com)
The California Supreme Court recently clarified a question plaguing many California employers. Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit asked the Supreme Court of California to address several unresolved questions concerning the construction of California’s day-of-rest statutes.
California Labor Code Sections 550–558.1 prohibit an employer from “caus[ing] his employees to work more than six days in seven” (§ 552), but do not apply “when the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week or six hours in any one day thereof” (§ 556). Two related provisions of the Labor Code ensure day of rest protection for employees. First, “[e]very person employed in any occupation of labor is entitled to one day’s rest therefrom in seven” (§ 551). Second, “[n]o employer of labor shall cause his employees to work more than six days in seven” (§ 552).
In the opinion, the Supreme Court first addressed the question of whether the day of rest required by Labor Code Sections 551 and 552 is calculated by the workweek, or whether it applies on a rolling basis to any seven consecutive days worked.