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Q: California hourly wage law ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: California hourly wage law
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: carol333-ga
List Price: $8.00
Posted: 25 Oct 2004 09:54 PDT
Expires: 24 Nov 2004 08:54 PST
Question ID: 419811
In the state of California, can I require my hourly, full time workers
to work 4 ten-hour days instead of 5 eight-hour days?

Request for Question Clarification by snapanswer-ga on 25 Oct 2004 10:08 PDT
Do you mean four 10-hour days without paying overtime?

Clarification of Question by carol333-ga on 25 Oct 2004 10:29 PDT
In the state of California, can I require my hourly, full time workers
to work 4 ten-hour days instead of 5 eight-hour days, without paying overtime?
Subject: Re: California hourly wage law
Answered By: tar_heel_v-ga on 25 Oct 2004 10:31 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

California law defines a workday as any consecutive 24 hour period
beginning at the same time each calendar day and a workweek is defined
as any 7 consecutive days starting with the same calendar day each
week.  Overtime must be paid to workers who work more than 8 hours in
a workday OR more than 40 hours in a workweek.  Therefore, employees
are only entitled to overtime when more than 40 hours in a week have
been worked as opposed to 8 hours in a day.  Now, with that being
said, an employer may schedule what is known as an alternative
workweek schedule with the following provisions:

 "The schedule authorizes straight time work for no longer than 10
hours per day within a 40-hour workweek;

? The schedule is approved in a secret ballot by at least two-thirds
of the "affected employees in a work unit";

? The regular rate of pay of affected employees is not affected by
adoption of the schedule;

? The employer must make a reasonable effort to provide a
8-hour/40-hour schedule for affected employees (a) who cannot work the
alternative workweek schedule, (b) who are hired after the schedule is
adopted, and (c) who cannot work the alternative workweek schedule on
religious grounds; and

? The results of the secret election are reported to the Division of
Labor Statistics and Research within 30 days of the results becoming

Section 511 of the California Labor Code specifies the requirements
for imposing an alternative workweek.

In summary, you can propose (not require) a 4 day, 10 hour work week
to your employees, though the workers that are affected by this have a
say in whether or not it is implemented or not.  I would recommend
speaking with an employment attorney to ensure that should you propose
the alternative workweek, you are doing so within the letter of the

Thanks for your question.  If you need any additional clarification,
please let me know.



Search Strategy:
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California overtime rules change 1-1-98; change your policies, too

Workplace Flexibility Act Eight Hour Day Business Employment Law

California Labor Code
carol333-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Very helpful

Subject: Re: California hourly wage law
From: snapanswer-ga on 25 Oct 2004 11:03 PDT
Actually, if you work over 8 hours in a day, but less than 40 hours in
a week, you are entitled to overtime.  I think that is what tar heel
was saying... just wanted to clarify.

However, the employer is entitled to make any work schedule desired,
including 10 hour days.  You can do this one of two ways.

1) Pay 2 hours of overtime on each of the four days.
2) Use an alternative work schedule and avoid overtime, as Tar Heel describes.

So, you can setup an alternative work schedule of four 10-hour days
without paying overtime.  The thing to be careful of is, if you depart
from the schedule and cut hours to less than 40 in a given week, you
will be responsible for paying overtime for the 10-hour days that were

So, three 10-hour days would be six hours of overtime, in all cases.

You can read about the alternative work week exemption here:

And read general California overtime questions here:

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