E-Blasts

Workweek Schedule:

Employers are advised to be mindful of an employee’s workweek schedule. Now, an employee of agricultural employers under Wage Order No. 14 with 26 or more employees will be entitled to overtime compensation when working over 9.5 hours in a workday or 55 hours in a workweek. Typically in the agricultural industry, employees were working 10 hours a day/6 days a week. Now, if employees work 6 days a week, employers must be vigilant in tracking the employee’s hours worked. If an employee is working 9.5 hours a day for 6 days a week, this will put the employee’s total workweek hours at 57 hours for the workweek. This means, the employee will be entitled to 2 hours of overtime compensation at one-and-half times the employee’s regular rate of pay. As such, the employer may consider scheduling the employee on the 6th day (or any day) for 7.5 hours to avoid going over the 55 hours workweek threshold.

Double Time:

Prior to the enactment of AB 1066, agricultural employees were entitled to double their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 8 hours on the 7th day of work in the workweek. Now that the phase-in of overtime requirements are in effect, questions have been raised if double time compensation is implemented for hours worked during a single workday. Starting January 1, 2022, an employer with 26 or more employees will owe employees double their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 12 hours in a single workday. For employers of 25 or less employees this will be effective on January 1, 2025. Below is a helpful chart with information on the phasing-in of double time over the next several years.

26 or more employees

25 or less employees

Hours per day after which time-and-a-half pay owed:

Hours per week after which time-and-a-half pay owed:

2019

2022

9.5

55

2020

2023

9

50

2021

2024

8.5

45

2022

2025

8

40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7th Day Rest Requirement Still Applicable:

As we previously reported here, in addition to AB 1066 establishing overtime phase-in for Wage Order No. 14 employees, AB 1066 also eliminated the exemption to the 7th day rest requirement which provides that employees are entitled to one day’s rest in every 7 days. Under the California Labor Code, employers cannot “cause” their employees to work more than 6 days in every seven.  In Nordstrom v. Mendoza, the court found that an employer “causes” its employee to go without a day of rest if it “induces” the employee to do so. An employer does not violate the requirement by permitting an employee, who is fully apprised of their right to rest, to independently choose to work.  Put another way, an employer does not violate the law if they tell employees they are entitled to the day of rest, and is neutral about whether the employee decides to take the day off or not such as through voluntary sign-up sheets.

 

Those employers who choose to permit employees to volunteer to work on a 7th day should consider the use of a voluntary employee sign-up sheet and should consult with legal counsel regarding the adoption of additional policies to ensure compliance with the law. As such, any work on the 7th consecutive day must still be voluntary and the phase-in implementation of overtime does not affect this whatsoever.

Paid Sick Leave:

Not only does AB 1066 affect overtime wages, but it  also causes an adverse effect to employees regarding the minimum amount of Paid Sick Leave (“PSL”) employers are required to offer. Under California’s PSL law, employees should be given the greater of either 24 hours or 3 days, regardless of whether the frontloading or accrual method is selected. This means that employees whose regular workday is 9.5 hours would get a minimum of 28.5 hours of PSL per year.

COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:

Please review your company’s policies and practices to understand the implications of how these laws may affect your company. If you’re an employer and you have any questions or concerns on how AB 1066 and/or the proposed new Wage Order No. 14 will affect your company or how to comply with the above requirements, please do not hesitate to contact the experts at the Saqui Law Group, a division of Dowling Aaron Incorporated.

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