Employers in California can’t require workers to remain on duty or “on call” during their rest breaks, according to a recent ruling by the California Supreme Court.
“During required rest periods, employers must relieve their employees of all duties and relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time,” the state high court said in a December 22, 2016 opinion.
In light of this ruling, employers shouldn’t require or suggest that employees carry company pagers, phones or other communication devices during their rest breaks. Employers need to take a look at the communications provided in their handbooks, policies and breakroom postings and make sure their policies do not seem to restrict or control employees’ activities during rest breaks.