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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 118082
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I worked 18 days, 24/7 straight as a caregiver third party

Customer Question

I worked 18 days, 24/7 straight as a caregiver for a third party agency. I started my 'shift' on 07/11/2015 at 3:30pm and ended on 07/27/2015 at 10:30am. The client is ambulatory and able to care for her needs. I do a minimal amount of 'domestic work', ie, I make her bed, clean the kitchen after we have eaten, etc. No housecleaning, laundry, etc.
On 07/29/2015 I was asked to return to the hotel to take the client to a doctor appointment which took 1.25 hours. What is the minimum time I should be paid?
I reside in California and the agency operates in California. I am paid for 17 hours per day, 9 hours regular time, 8 hours overtime. Eight hours are counted as "sleep time" and their is no compensation for those hours.
I rarely get to bed before 11:30pm and I am awakened twice during the night between 12am and 6am to ensure the client returns safely to bed.
I eat with the client when she eats, either at home when I prepare the meals or when we go out to eat. I do not get any 'meal time' alone or uninterrupted breaks to be alone. I am always 'on call' and subject to interruption while I am on my shift.
How should my wages be calculated? What rate applies and to which hours? Regular pay, overtime pay, double time?
If I am not able to have a meal time or breaks, how should this be handled? Should I be compensated?
If I can have someone relieve me for an hour or two, can I combine my meal time and breaks into one long break and remain 'on the clock'?
I reside in California and I work for a California corporation. This assignment is a 2 1/2 hour one way drive from my home. The majority of this time period, however, we have been staying in a hotel closer to my home, although I am not allowed to go home. I maintain a residence separate from the client with my wife. I generally work 4-5, 24 hour shifts.
Thank you for your assistance!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
CA Labor Code Section 551 states that “every person employed in any occupation of labor is entitled to one day’s rest therefrom in seven.” Labor Code Section 552 prohibits employers from “causing their employees to work more than six days in seven.” The situation you describe would not be a noted exception to this law.
If you are being forced to work during sleep time, you should also be paid for those hours as well, so you have a claim for wages for those hours as well.
CA laws mandate you are paid overtime rules for the seventh consecutive day worked in a workweek: (1) one and one-half times the regular rate for the first eight hours worked, and (2) twice the regular rate for hours worked in excess of eight. This is in addition to the time and a half for your regular hours over 8 in a day on the other days of work.
CA Civil Code 558 also provides the employer will be penalized for any initial violation, fifty dollars ($50) for each underpaid employee for each pay period for which the employee was underpaid in addition to an amount sufficient to recover underpaid wages.
So, if your employer will not answer you and is not paying you in accordance to the law and not giving you an opportunity for a day of rest, you need to file a complaint with EDD for a wage claim and they will assist you in pursuing all money due and penalize the employer as well.