Is It Illegal to Work 7 Days a Week in California?
Your employer can set your work schedule, but are there limits to its authority? Can you work 7 days in a row in California?
If you are working 7 days in a row in California, your employer could be subject to civil or criminal penalties, depending on your circumstances.
How Many Days in a Row Can You Work in California?
In California, it's generally illegal for employers to schedule employees to work seven consecutive days without providing a day of rest. According to the California labor code, employers must allow employees a day of rest in each workweek. Therefore, working seven days straight is typically not permissible under California labor laws.
If your boss violates these rules, they could be guilty of a misdemeanor. However, these rules only apply to some work situations.
In California, according to the double time law, employers must pay employees double their regular rate of pay for hours worked beyond 12 hours in a workday and for hours worked beyond eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
California’s Rest Day Rules Aren’t Always About Consecutive Days of Work
While California regulations technically state an employee cannot be required to work more than six days within seven, this does not always mean that consecutively working more than six days will violate the law.
As long as one out of every seven days within a month is a rest day, employees in certain positions may be required to work seven or more days straight. Some jobs reasonably require longer work weeks, meaning your rest days will be at a particular time in the month without violating the law.
California’s Rest Day Rules Don’t Apply to All Employees
There are specific industries and job positions that the general rule does not apply to. In other words, your employer is not prohibited from making you work more than six out of seven days. In other words, the nature of your employment may alter your right to rest days.
In addition, the general rule does not apply to part-time employees who work 30 hours or less in a week and do not work more than six hours on any given day.
Determining and understanding what exceptions apply to you can take time and effort. If you work seven days a week in California and wonder if your employer is violating labor laws, contact our experienced attorneys at Starpoint Law, LC. We can help you assess whether you may not receive adequate rest days as required by law. If your employer is in violation, we can help you take the necessary steps to remedy the situation and hold them accountable.
Exceptions to California’s Rest Day Rule
A worker’s right to one rest day per week is not absolute, and there are several exceptions to the prohibition against working 7 days in a row in California.
Your boss can request that you work seven days in a row if the following circumstances apply:
- Your working time is needed for an emergency;
- Your job requires you to work to protect life or property from destruction;
- You work for a common carrier (e.g taxi, trucking, rail, etc);
- Your collective bargaining agreement has different terms;
- You work with trains; or
- Your total working time does not exceed 30 hours in any week or six hours on any day.
If the type of work you do creates a need for you to work seven consecutive days, your employer does not have to give you one day off per week but only the equivalent of one in seven days off per month.
And the Chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement can also exempt an employer from following the one day of rest rule if they think that rule would cause hardship.
What to Do If There Was a Rest Day Law Violation
Contact an attorney if you suspect your employer is violating rest day law and depriving you of adequate rest time. You may be able to file a complaint against your employer with the California Department of Industrial Relations. Depending on the situation, you may be entitled to damages, and your employer might be subject to fines and other criminal penalties.
Filing a Complaint
If your boss has violated California’s Labor Code by requiring you to work seven days in a row, you can file a complaint with the Department of Industrial Relations.
It is not only a violation to require certain workers to work seven out of seven days in a workweek, but it is also a violation to neglect to pay non-exempt employees overtime premiums for their seventh consecutive day of work.
An experienced employment attorney can determine whether you are entitled to a day of rest or overtime premiums for your labor.
Get in touch with one of our employment lawyers today.
At Starpoint Employment Lawyers, our experienced employment attorneys provide workers in Southern California unique, one-on-one legal representation for their employment disputes.
We get to the heart of each client’s specific needs, and we have not lost a case yet. Whatever issue you have with your work situation, we are here to help.