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Am I supposed to be paid for split shifts Under California Wage Law?

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Split shift law in California - "Am I entitled to split shift pay if I work a split shift?"    

California wage law is made up of the California Labor Code, California Wage Orders and California wage and hour legal cases.
 
Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders (also known as the California Wage Orders) define “split shift” as a work schedule which is interrupted by non-paid non-working periods established by the employer, other than “bona fide” rest or meal periods.
 
Each of the California Wage Orders require your employer to pay a premium of one hour’s pay at the minimum wage rate who works a split shift during the workday (unless you reside at the place of your employment). All of the California Wage Orders have a Section 4, that covers split shift pay.
 
For example, Wage Order No. 9 - for the Transportation Industry states,
 
When an employee works a split shift, one (1) hour’s pay at the minimum wage shall be paid in addition to the minimum wage for that workday, except when the employee resides at the place of employment.
Wage Order 9-2001 Section 4(C). 
 

How unpaid split shift premiums can turn into you being owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages and penalties

California has the most worker protection wage laws in the U.S.  In this article I provide a Case Study that shows how not getting paid a split shift premium can turn into you being owed thousands of dollars in unpaid wages and penalties. In other words, you may not want to say, "It's not worth if for only a few dollars for split shifts."  That kind of thinking can end up costing you a lot of money. 
 
Am I owed a split shift premium. Split shift pay law for California workers.
 
Getting your unpaid wages check - YES!!!
 

In this article, I answer these questions and/or address the following issues regarding California split shift wage laws:

Split shifts in restaurants and retail
 
Public transportation workers and split shifts
 
What makes me eligible to receive split shift pay?
 
What is a split shift premium? ... You get an hour’s pay if you work a split shift
 
Split shift and minimum wage
 
What if I earn more than minimum wage, do I still get paid for working a split shift?
 
How do I calculate the split shift pay premium that I’m owed? 
 
Is split shift pay counted for overtime purposes?

A Case Study With Split Shift Premiums: National Family Restaurant Chain Stiffs Their Servers and it turns into thousands of dollars owed in unpaid wages and penalties for each employee...An example of how split shift premiums work in the real world

 

You'll find that this is the most comprehensive article on California split shift pay. 

 

Why is Bill Turley asked to testify concerning wage law legislation at the California State Senate and the California Assembly?

Bill Turley Testifies - California State Senate & California State Assembly
A No B.S. straight-shooter lawyer

Believe it or not, Bill is known for being a no B.S. straight-up lawyer. Besides being known as one of the leading experts on this area of the law in California, one of the reasons why Bill is asked to testify at legislature hearings is because he is known for being straight-forward and blunt. He is known for being no B.S., with no lawyer-talk, no double-talk.

Split shifts in restaurants and retail

Split shifts are typical in many industries. For example, some restaurants require employees to work both lunch and dinner on a single workday. However, because business hours during the afternoon are slow, the employees are required to take an unpaid break.  This type of schedule clearly falls under the definition of a split shift.
 
There are other industries where we see split shifts also. Such as in the retail industry.
 
Any additional amounts over minimum wage paid to the employee can be used to offset the split shift pay due to an employee.
 
If you are paid at a minimum wage rate, your employer must pay you an extra hour at a minimum wage rate. Specifically, under applicable Wage Orders, section 4(c), “when an employee works a split shift, one hour’s pay at the minimum wage shall be paid in addition to the minimum wage for that workday, except when the employee resides at the place of employment.” 

Public transportation workers and split shifts

Some public transportation workers have to work split shifts. Such as bus drivers, for instance. 

What makes me eligible to receive split shift pay?

 
First, split shift pay is only available to California employees.
 
Second, nonexempt employees are eligible for split-shift pay under the following conditions:
 
1. Their work schedule includes a block of unpaid time of more than one hour (other than a meal period).
2. The block of unpaid time interrupts two work periods.
3. The total wages earned do not exceed the applicable minimum wage for all hours worked, plus one additional hour.
 
A case study is provided herein below to explain this. 

What is a split shift premium? ... You get an hour’s pay if you work a split shift

Under California law, most employees that work a split shift are entitled to an hour’s pay. 
 
This additional hour’s pay is also called a “split shift premium.”
 
Employees whose work schedule includes a block of unpaid time of more than one hour (other than a meal period) that interrupts two work periods will be paid a split shift premium of one additional hour of pay at the applicable minimum wage during each work day when they work a split shift if the total wages earned do not exceed the applicable minimum wage for all hours worked, plus one additional hour.
 
However, the split-shift pay can be less than one additional hour. Generally, the more you make over minimum wage decreases the amount of split shift pay you are entitled to.

 

Split shift and minimum wage

If you earn the minimum wage per hour you are entitled to additional pay known as a “split shift premium” when your schedule includes a split shift. The premium is equal to one hour of pay at the rate of the minimum wage. California Wage Orders 1-15, Section 4.
 

What if I earn more than minimum wage, do I still get paid for working a split shift?  

If you are paid more than minimum wage you may also be due a split shift premium, however, the greater the wage the lower the premium will be.
 

How do I calculate the split shift pay premium that I’m owed?

Here’s how to calculate whether you are owed split shift pay.
 
First, if you are paid a total amount that is greater than the minimum wage for all hours worked during your split shift plus one additional hour, then you are not entitled to split shift premiums.
 
Second, in order to figure out if you are owed any split-shift premiums, compare the following two numbers:
 
(a) your total pay at your regular rate for the day; and
(b) the minimum wage multiplied by number of hours worked plus one hour.
 
If  (a) is greater than (b), then you are not entitled to any split-shift premiums. However, if (b) is greater than (a) than the difference between two numbers is your split-shift premium. 
 
I know this may sound confusing when  you first hear it. At least it did to me when I heard it for the first time. 
 
In order to explain this concept, please see the Case Study herein below. This will help you understand the concept. 
 

Is split shift pay counted for overtime purposes?

Split shift pay is not counted in the employee’s regular rate for purposes of calculating overtime wages.

Does my split shift premium need to be  on my pay stub as a separate item?

Your employer must itemize the split shift premium payment on your pay stub. It must be shown as a separate category such as “Split Shift Premium.” The split shift premium pay can not be lumped into another category such as wages, bonus, etc.
 
If the split shift premium is not separately listed on your pay stub, then it is a pay stub violation and you are entitled to pay stub penalties. California Labor Code Section 226.
 

A Case Study With Split Shift Premiums: National Family Restaurant Chain stiffs their servers and it turns into thousands of dollars owed in unpaid wages and penalties for each employee...An example of how split shift premiums work in the real world

Jane is a server at National Family Restaurant Chain.  As usual, we have changed the names here and any resemblance to actual companies, entities, employees and/or people. (As a side note, most defendants in class action settlements request a confidentiality clause in the settlement agreement where we won’t “publicize” the settlement and/or the facts of the case.) Not that this matters in this case study, because - of course - any resemblance to any actual cases which we might have handled where we caught the Defendant red-handed not paying split shift premiums and nailed them... is, again, purely coincidental.
 
Once a week Jane works a split shift. Which is very common in the restaurant industry.
 
For example: The restaurant pays Jane $13 per hour. Jane works 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and then again from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This is a total of eight hours worked for the day, and she is entitled to a split shift payment of one hour at $12 (at the time of this case, the minimum wage is $12).
 
This is a total of eight hours worked for the day, and she is entitled to a split shift payment of one hour at $12 (minimum wage). However, because she earned $8 over minimum wage ($1 above minimum wage x 8 hours = $8) for the eight hours of work, this amount can be used to offset the amount owed for the split shift pay. The split shift premium is $12 (an extra hour’s pay).
 
$12 - $8 = $4.
 
Thus, Jane is owed $4 for this day. The $4 is the split shift premium pay that Jane is owed by the company.
 
You might be reading this and saying, “So what? Big deal, an extra $4.” 
 
It might seem like that at first blush.  But what if this happens every week, for a year and then she quit and went to another job. Seven months later Jane contacts our office.
 
Here is when the joy of math really kicks in.  Like I am fond of saying - not that it is a joy to have your wages stolen - but it is sure a joy to get them back. Especially when you have a really good class action lawyer on your side.
 
Back to our example. Jane works 48 weeks during the year and works one split shift a week.  The restaurant chain pays their employees every Friday.
 
In split shift premiums, Jane is owed 48 x $4 = $192.  Still not too exciting, but $192 bucks is still $192 bucks.  And, Jane, like many workers, works paycheck to paycheck.
 
However, Jane is also entitled to 48 weeks of paycheck stub violations.  This is because the National Family Restaurant Chain failed to put the split shift premium on her paycheck stubs.
 
The first week is $50 and each additional week (47 weeks) is $100. 
 
1  x   $  50     = $     50
 
47 x  $100     = $4,700
 
Since there is a maximum of $4,000 for paycheck violations, Jane is entitled to $4,000 for the paycheck violations.
 
In addition, Jane is entitled to 30 days wages due to waiting time penalties, because the national restaurant chain failed to pay Jane all of her wages owed at time of termination.
 
Thus, she is entitled to the following waiting time penalties: :
 
$13 x 8 = $104 + $2 split pay premium = $106
 
$106 x 30 days = $3,180 waiting time penalties
 
Thus, just for the split shift violation and the resulting paycheck violations and waiting time violations, Jane is entitled to the following:
 
$    192    unpaid split shift premiums
$ 4,000    paycheck violations
$ 3,180    waiting time penalties
$ 7,372    Total wages/ penalties owed
 
Now, do you see why not getting paid your split shift premiums is a big deal?
 
Now factor in that there are over 1,800 class members.  Can you see how this can add up really fast?
 
Although the names have been changed in order protect the not so innocent (read: National Family Restaurant Chain), the court awarded Jane $5,000 because she was the named class representative (and signed a general release).
 
Not bad for $4 a split shift premium. Can you see how Jane may be very, very pleased with the outcome? Or why Jane may have referred quit a few of her friends to us from other restaurants? 

Not that this case study bears any resemblance to any actual client, events or occurrences.
 

It starts with a phone call - the satisfaction of getting your unpaid wages

This case started because an employee suspected that not getting meal breaks and rest breaks wasn't lawful. So she called our office in order to see what could be done. Whether you call us, text us or email us - it's not a difficult process. 
 
Everything is always confidential unless and until you decide to go forward with an unpaid wages case.
 
Like all wage class action lawsuits and PAGA actions, you never have to pay us any legal fees directly. We only get paid if we win. And when we do get paid, we get paid directly from the company (after the Judge approves of the settlement and our fees/ costs).  You never have to pay any of the case costs - we advance the costs and we only get reimbursed those costs if we win the case.
 
In other words, you never have to pay any money out of your pocket in order to bring a case to recover your unpaid wages or PAGA penalties.
 
And you get the satisfaction of getting your unpaid wages. It always feel better to get something back that was wrongfully taken from you. 

Questions or if you need help right now?


Call us at 619-304-1000  
 
Text us at 858-281-8008 
 
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This article isn't legal advice
 
These discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. These testimonials, endorsements, photos and/or discussions do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation. Every case is different. There are any number of reasons why class actions are not certified, not won and/or PAGA actions are not successful.
 
Just because we have gotten great results in so many other unpaid wage cases, doesn't guarantee in particular result in other cases. Including, your wage case. Every case is different.
 
William Turley
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“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
1 Comments:
My wife has been working split shifts for at least 3 years now and i know they dont pay her a premium and she works 6 hours in morning at min wage and 1 to 2 hours 6 to 7 hours later in the day. She goes in at 6 in a.m. and gets off at 11. Then she goes back in at 6 or 7 every night that she works usually 5 days a week how much are they gonna owe her
Posted by John b kopischke on November 5, 2019 at 08:33 PM

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