I have been working at my current job for 11 years now. We have always been given a CA split shift when there were less than 8hrs between shifts. This week I had to work till 1am, and had to be back to work at 8:30am. Only seven and a half hours between shifts. When I asked to have my split shift put in I was told that they are no longer giving those. Can you please tell me if the law has changed? Are they required to give me a split shift?? Thank you
There is no law which prevents employers from scheduling fewer than 8 hours between shifts. And I do not believe that scheduling a 7 1/2 hour break between shifts qualifies as a "split shift" as defined by the Wage Orders. A split shift is an interruption in a work schedule that is greater than a rest or meal period. But your employer appears to be scheduling you for 2 different work shifts, which is permissible without having to pay the split shift premium. However, you may be entitled to overtime premiums for those hours which exceed 8 in the workday.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.
There is no prohibition against an employer scheduling shifts too close together. The only "penalty" for an employer doing that is the exposure to overtime. You are entitled to overtime any time you work more than 8 hours in a work day. A work day is a defined 24 hour period of time. An employer can set its workday whenever it wishes, and it is required to post that work day for the employees to see. If the employer has not specifically defined its work day, the default work day is from midnight to midnight.
If you work two shift that are close together, there is a greater chance that some of your hours will end up overtime. Overtime is measured by hours in a work day, not hours in a shift.
Good luck to you.
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I agree with what has already been said by attorneys Michael Kirschbaum and Neil Pedersen The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) discusses longer work shifts from a workplace safety perspective on their website. But, OSHA has established no standard for extended or unusual work shifts.
The OSHA website states: "Extended or unusual work shifts may be more stressful physically, mentally, and emotionally. Non-traditional shifts and extended work hours may disrupt the body's regular schedule, leading to increased fatigue, stress, and lack of concentration. These effects lead to an increased risk of operator error, injuries and/or accidents."
The OSHA website recommends: "When there is a choice, managers should limit the use of extended shifts and increase the number of days employees work. Working shifts longer than 8 hours will generally result in reduced productivity and alertness. Additional break periods and meals should be provided when shifts are extended past normal work periods. Tasks that require heavy physical labor or intense concentration should be performed at the beginning of the shift if possible. This is an important consideration for pre-emergency planning."
Again, these are suggestions but are not legally required.
I answer questions on Avvo to try to help get you pointed in the right direction. But, I am not your attorney. Beware, my answers here are general, limited, incomplete, and can never be as complete, thorough, or accurate as one I would give to a client after hearing all of the facts and details of my client's situation and applying the correct law. Also, I am admitted to practice law only in California and all of my answers are intended exclusively for the Golden State.
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