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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I work in a restaurant in California as a pastry chef. Is

Customer Question

I work in a restaurant in California as a pastry chef. Is it legal for the employer to do the following: 1. Not post the weekly schedule until the Sunday evening of that work week? 2. Require an employee to come into work on their day off? and give less than 24 hours notice?  3. Require an employee to work an evening shift (5 pm to 1:30 am and then the very next day 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, for example) So, therefore without 8 hours for rest and sleep? 4. Require an employee to pay any losses for an honest mistake in food production that was not properly produced?  I am an hourly paid part time employee. Thank you.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Good afternoon and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. I will do everything I can to assist you.

The first three scenarios you describe are legal. There are very few laws with regard to the scheduling of work, and in general employers retain tremendous freedom to demand that employees come in on short notice, on their day off, or immediately following an evening shift.

One thing I will note, however, is that if an employee is made to work past midnight and then the next day, the hours past midnight must be included in the overtime calculation for the next day, (by default, the new workday begins at midnight unless otherwise prescribed by the employer) and all hours in excess of 8 must be paid as overtime. So, in the scenario you describe working until 1:30 a.m. and then 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., assuming a half hour unpaid lunch on the 8-4:30 shift, an employee in this circumstance would be entitled to time-and-one-half pay for the the last 1.5 hours of their shift, since these hours exceed the threshold of 8 per day that an employee can be required to work without overtime.

I will also note that if an employee is made to work 7 consecutive days within a workweek (i.e. Sunday-Saturday), the employer must pay overtime for all hours worked on the 7th day, regardless of how many hours that is.

With regard to the last scenario, this is absolutely ILLEGAL. California labor law zealously protects an employee's earned wages and permits deductions only in certain extremely limited circumstances. Only if the loss caused by the employee is the result of an intentional act (i.e. stealing something) or gross misconduct (i.e. showing up drunk and crashing a company car) would an employer be permitted to demand repayment for a company loss. Otherwise, the employer is essentially requiring the employees to shoulder the risks of the company while still reaping the company profit. This would be extremely unfair and is not allowed.

If an employee in your circumstance wishes to pursue overtime and make a claim for unlawful deductions from pay to recoup employer losses, the best avenue of recourse would be through the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. Employers are legally prohibited from retaliating against employees who make complaints with the DLSE, and if you were to be suspended, demoted or fired as a result of making a claim, you would have an additional claim for damages.

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.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 4 years ago.

Please see here for more information regarding permissible and impermissible deductions from wages:

Again, please feel free to let me know if you have any further concerns. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.

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