California Employees Must Have Uninterrupted Rest Breaks, SHRM, ft. Barbara L. Harris Chiang

Posted Jan 6, 2017

Barbara L. Harris Chiang was quoted in a SHRM article written by Lisa Nagele-Piazza published on January 6, 2017.

Employers in California can’t require workers to remain on duty or “on call” during their rest breaks, according to 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 Dec. 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, said Barbara Harris Chiang, an attorney with Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck in San Francisco.

Chiang said she doesn’t think the ruling means that employers should say workers can’t take their communication devices on rest breaks, just that they are not required to.

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