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Patrick, Esq.
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Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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My department has recently decided to stay open 7 days a week,

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My department has recently decided to stay open 7 days a week, but are not adding employees to work the weekend days. Instead every four to five weeks the are shifting peoples schedules from Mon - Fri, to Fri - Tue. The problem is that we end up working eight days in a row (Fri - Fri) when switching back to our normal work week. Is this legal to do without paying over time?
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I am very sorry to hear that you are being overworked like this and also being denied overtime.

While employers retain great discretion with regard to how they choose to schedule their employees and how much they require their employees to work, all employers must pay overtime to non-exempt employees who work seven consecutive workdays within a workweek for any hours worked on the seventh consecutive day.

By default, the "workweek" starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday. So, according to the default workweek, if an employee works ANY amount on the first six days of the workweek and then is made to work on Saturday, they would be entitled to overtime for all hours worked on Saturday unless they are otherwise exempt from overtime (I'll get to that in a moment).

As I noted, employers are free to designate a different day of the week as the starting point of the "workweek" provided they inform their employees and do not move the day around in order to evade paying overtime. If your employer has designated a different day as the start of the workweek, you would have been told about it or it would be in your employee handbook. Assuming that you are being made to work all seven days within your designated workweek, you would be entitled to overtime for all hours worked on the seventh consecutive day.

Of course, non-exempt employees are also entitled to overtime for all hours worked in excess of 8 per day or 40 per week, so that is another basis by which overtime can become due.

The final requirement for overtime is that the worker not be "exempt." Exempt workers are those whose job requirements satisfy certain specific criteria. Common exemptions include management positions, professionals such as doctors and lawyers, and certain computer professionals. In general, you would know if your employer was claiming your position as exempt because they would tell you. You can always also ask.

If you determine that you are entitled to overtime for working on seven consecutive days within a workweek, your recourse for obtaining overtime pay would be through the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. The DLSE will investigate your claim and issue a judgement against your employer if it finds cause. Your employer will also be legally prohibited from retaliating against you in any way (firing you, suspending you, demoting you, etc.) for enforcing your right to overtime. To file a wage claim with the DLSE, visit this link:

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, I would be most grateful if you would remember to provide my service a positive rating, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Very best wishes to you.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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