California’s “Day of Rest” statute continues to plague employers, but a recent case brings with it some good news. Under California Labor Code section 550-558.1, an employer is prohibited “from ‘caus[ing] his employees to work more than six days in seven” unless “the total hours of employment do not exceed 30 hours in any week.”
According to a California Supreme Court ruling that just came down the pipe, employees must average no less than one day of rest for every seven over the course of a calendar month, giving even more work-scheduling flexibility to employers.
In the case at hand, Mendoza v. Nordstrom, Inc., the California Supreme Court examined three issues, the first issue being whether the day of rest required by sections 551 and 552 of the Labor Code was calculated by the workweek, or if it applies on a rolling basis to any seven-consecutive-day period.
In the case, two former Nordstrom employees at California locations alleged that they were overworked and underpaid. They claimed that they occasionally had to cover other workers’ shifts, which impermissibly caused them to work seven consecutive days without a break. One employee alleged, for example, that his supervisor requested that he fill in for coworkers, requiring the employee to work a maximum of six hours in some instances. The other employee claimed that she worked more than six consecutive days at a maximum of six hours.
To determine whether a day of rest is calculated by the workweek or on a rolling basis, the court determined that the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) required a weekly day of rest, not a “rolling guarantee.”
Furthermore, the court explored the statutory context within which the day of rest statutes is placed. The court reasoned that similar to the IWC the Legislature defined a “week” and a “workweek” as seven consecutive days, starting with the same calendar day each week.
As a result, the California Supreme Court held in accordance with history and wage orders, and interpreted the Labor Code such that a day of rest applied on a weekly basis: “If at one time an employee works every day of a given week, at another time shortly before or after she must be permitted multiple days of rest in a week to compensate, and on balance must average no less than one day’s rest for every seven, not one for every 12,” the court said.”
For more information on how these and other developments in California employment law affect your business, contact top California employment lawyer Drew E. Pomerance today.
 Mendoza v. Nordstron, Inc., 216 Cal. 5th 1074 (Cal. 2017).
 Id. at 895.
 Id. at 896.
 Id. at 898.