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Does Working Double Shift Count for California Overtime? Attorney Weighs In…

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Los Angeles, CAAndy, who works as a Licensed Vocational Nurse in a Nursing Home, wants to know whether his employer is violating the California labor law by not paying the nurses California overtime when they work a double shift. “I think they are trying to cut costs and finding any loopholes to save money,” Andy says. LawyersandSettlements asks an employment attorney to advise Andy.

There are three shifts in the nursing home. The morning shift from 7 am-3:30 pm; the afternoon shift from 3 pm-11:30 pm; and the night shift from 11 pm-7:30 am. Andy usually works the afternoon shift but if the nursing home is short-staffed, the nurses are asked to pull a double shift. Andy will work from 3 pm until 7:30 am the next morning.

Here is the issue: Andy used to get paid double time when he worked the second shift but the nursing home recently changed hands and the new employer says they don’t legally have to pay double time after midnight because it counts as a separate day.

“I spoke to my employer about this but he said they aren’t violating any California labor code,” says Andy. “I’ve been working as a charge nurse at this home for five years and the overtime problems began six months ago. I kept track of the days I work double shifts and I believe my employer owes me a substantial amount of overtime pay.”

Is Andy’s employer violating California overtime laws?

Attorney David Yeremian, David Yeremian & Associates, Inc., believes the nursing home is not in compliance with the law. “An employer can designate a 24-hour period as the workday, which is typically from 12:01 am to 11:59 pm, so every midnight is a new workday,” says Yeremian. “This means that every 24-hour period is considered a workday and anytime after 8 hours is considered overtime.”

Yeremian says that, if Andy works a double shift, from 3 pm until 7:30 am the next morning, goes home and comes back to work at 3 pm to start his afternoon shift, he is entitled to double time. But there is still a gray area. Andy doesn’t work a third day in a row.

“If Andy starts work at 3 pm Monday, finishes the double shift at 7 am Tuesday morning and then gets a day off, his employer might be in compliance, but my instinct tells me that the employer is violating the California overtime laws,” says Yeremian. “We have a lot of cases where the employer has to pay overtime to employees who work split shifts, such as an employee working 6 hours, going home for a few hours and coming back the same day for another 6 hours. I will have to do some research on Andy’s issue.”

Stay tuned. David Yeremian will soon have an answer for Andy.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Am I entitled overtime pay if I worked 11pm-7am then 3pm- 11pm? For instance, lets say I worked Monday 11pm until tuesday 7:30am and then go home and come back to work same day tuesday 3pm until 11pm. My emoloyer tells me that I don’t work more than 40 hours a week to consider it overtime and that its not really straight working hours since i get to go home for a few hours.

Posted by

on
What about In re Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 505 F. Supp. 2d 609 (2007)? Plaintiff argued that Wal-Mart had improperly failed to pay OT for hours worked in excess of eight. The employee had worked one shift, but the shift started before midnight and ended after midnight. The Court stated: "The first sentence of Labor Code section 510(a) bluntly states: "Eight hours of labor constitutes a day's work." In the context of an overtime statute, this sentence clearly conveys the legislature's intent that, other than in the case of specific enumerated exceptions, a shift of more than eight hours of consecutive work qualifies for overtime pay."

Posted by

on
Do I receive overtime for working two 8 hour shifts in one day eight hours apart?

Fri 4pm to Sat 8am then Sat 4pm to 1200a

Posted by

on
>Stay tuned. David Yeremian will soon have an answer for Andy.
Update on this? I am facing exactly the same.

Posted by

on
My understanding of the law is that your hours of work are what determines Overtime. So, if you come to work at 3pm, your new day of work begins at 3pm the following day. All hours worked after 8 hours is considered OT, until 3pm the following day, when a new 24 hr. period begins. Whether it should be double time is debatable though. I got paid 1 1/2X's until 12 hours, double time until 16 hours, and 2 1/2 X's after 16. I'm not sure what the law is in that regard. But, if every new work day was based on Midnight, the law could be manipulated to the benefit of some workers, and the detriment of others....which would be illegal.

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