Jul. 11 2011

Court Weighs In on Meaning of Split Shifts

Topics: Court Decisions, Wage & Hour Issues

California requires that extra compensation be paid to employees who are required to work "split shifts," generally referring to daily work shifts that are separatedby several hours ofnon-worktime. In SecuritasSecurity Services v. Superior Court (Holland), a group of employeesbrought a class action against their employer, alleging the employer failed to pay them required split shift premiums. Thealleged split shift? Working consecutive overnight shifts starting in the evening and ending in the morning. The employer defined its workday to begin at midnight each day and the employees therefore argued that by ending one shift in the morning and starting another in the evening of the same day, they were working "split shifts" and had to be compensated accordingly. The court appropriately rejected the plaintiffs' tortured interpretation of a split shift and held that split shift pay need not be paid in such circumstances involving consecutive overnight shifts. The Securitas decision is here.

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Robin Largent represents employers, including major food and retail companies, in all types of employment litigation: wrongful termination, retaliation, breach of contract, wage and hour (California Labor Code) and unfair competition. She also regularly counsels and advises California employers on issues of compliance with California and federal employment laws.
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