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Time Off Between Shifts

Are you required to have 8 hours off between shifts in California?

In California, there is no specific state law that dictates a minimum number of hours off between shifts for adult employees. Certain industries or specific job positions may have regulations or agreements that set different rest periods between shifts. There are regulations for specific situations, such as meal and rest breaks, that ensure employees have time to rest and eat meals during their workday.

  1. Eight-Hour Rule:
    • California has an “eight-hour rule” that applies to some industries, particularly those covered by Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders. This rule states that employees are entitled to overtime pay if they work over eight hours in a workday. However, it does not specify a minimum time off for employees in between shifts.
  2. Healthcare Industry:
    • In the healthcare industry, there are specific rules regarding periods of rest between shifts for certain employees. For example, nurses in California may have regulations that mandate a certain number of hours or minimum time between shifts.
  3. Meal and Rest Breaks:
    • California labor laws require employers to provide employees with meal and rest breaks during their workday. For example, employees are entitled to a 10-minute paid rest break for every four hours worked, and a 30-minute unpaid meal break for every five hours worked. If they work more than eight hours, they are eligible for overtime pay, according to state overtime laws.
  4. Collective Bargaining Agreements:
    • Some employees may be covered by collective bargaining agreements that address periods of rest between shifts. These agreements can specify the terms and conditions related to working hours and rest periods.
  5. Fatigue and Safety Concerns:
    • While California does not have a specific law regarding the minimum time between shifts, employers should be mindful of providing sufficient rest periods to ensure the well-being of their employees.

It’s important for employers and employees to be aware of any applicable industry-specific regulations, collective bargaining agreements, or employment contracts that may address periods of rest between shifts. If there are concerns about rest periods or working hours, employees may want to consult with their employer’s human resources department or seek legal advice to understand their rights and explore potential solutions.

Lawyers for Justice, PC’s employment law attorneys are extremely knowledgeable on California labor laws, minimum wage issues, overtime laws, federal law, violations for meal periods, consecutive hours worked, double time, and other wage and hour issues. Call (818) JUSTICE today for a free consultation.


California Break Laws for an 8-Hour Shift

California break laws for an 8-hour shift primarily focus on hours worked & meal breaks and rest breaks. These laws are outlined in the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Orders and the California Labor Code. Here are the key provisions related to breaks for an 8-hour shift:

  1. Meal Breaks:
    • For an 8-hour workday, employees in California are generally entitled to a 30-minute uninterrupted meal break. This meal break must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s fifth hour of work.
    • If the total workday is six hours or less, the meal break can be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee.
    • According to California law, ff the workday extends beyond 10 hours, employees are entitled to a second 30-minute meal break, to be provided no later than the end of the employee’s tenth hour of work.
    • If the employer fails to provide a required meal break, they may be subject to a penalty of one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate for each workday that the meal break is not provided.
  2. Rest Breaks:
    • Employees in California are generally entitled to 10-minute rest breaks for every four hours of work. For an 8-hour shift, employees are entitled to two 10-minute rest breaks.
    • These short breaks should be taken in the middle of each work period, if possible.
    • These breaks are considered time worked and must be paid.
    • If an employer fails to provide a required period of rest, they may be subject to a penalty of one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate for each workday that the rest break is not provided.
  3. Exceptions and Industry-Specific Rules:
    • Some industries, such as healthcare, may have specific rules and exceptions regarding meal and rest breaks.