Hours of Work and Recording Time Worked

California laws and Wage Orders contain many provisions about the hours employees can work, including meal and rest periods. The laws also specify when break time must be paid and when it can be unpaid. If you fail to comply with these laws, you will be subject to penalties. These penalties can increase your compensation costs for nonexempt employees by as much as 20 percent.​

  • Maximum Hours of Work

    Maximum Hours of WorkEmployees who work under Wage Order 4; Wage Order 8; or Wage Order 13 generally cannot be required to work more than 72 hours per week.  More »

  • Minimum Hours of Work

    Minimum Hours of WorkExisting law does not specify a minimum number of hours for which an employee must be regularly scheduled each shift, unless employees voted to adopt an alternative workweek agreement.   More »

  • Mandatory Days Off

    Mandatory Days OffGenerally, every employee is entitled to at least one day off in a seven-day workweek  More »

    ​​Read about a new 2015 court case.
  • Minimum Time Between Shifts

    Minimum Time Between ShiftsExisting law does not specify a minimum time between an employee’s shifts.  More »

  • Travel Time

    Travel TimeEmployers are often confused as to whether they must pay nonexempt employees for time traveling to and attendance time at a work-related function.  More »

    ​Re​ad about a new 2015 court case.
  • Preparation Time

    Preparation TimeIf employees must change uniforms, wash up or clean up at work, that time must be counted as hours worked.   More »

  • Security Screenings

    Security ScreeningsThere has been a trend toward filing class action lawsuits seeking pay for the time employees spend in security screenings.  More »

    ​​Read about a new 2015 court case.
  • Education and Training Time

    Education and Training TimeEmployees who spend time at lectures, work courses, employer-sponsored training programs or employee meetings must count that time as hours worked for pay purposes  More »

  • Timekeeping and Recording Guidelines

    Timekeeping and Recording GuidelinesYou must maintain required payroll records in ink or in other indelible form. The payroll records must be properly dated, showing the month, day and year.  More »

    ​Rea​d about new 2016 court cases.
  • Exceptions for Specific Industries

    Exceptions for Specific IndustriesCertain industries require variations in the way hours of work are recorded, how records are maintained and how certain types of hours are treated for pay purposes.   More »

    ​R​ead about 2015 legislation.
  • Scheduling Requirements in San Francisco

    Scheduling Requirements in San FranciscoSan Francisco passed a Family-Friendly Workplace Ordinance that requires employers with employees working in San Francisco to consider requests for “flexible or predictable working arrangements to assist with care giving responsibilities.”  More »