WHAT IS SPLIT SHIFT UNDER CALIFORNIA LAW?
Although your employer is required to provide you with uninterrupted 30 minutes meal breaks every five work hours, your employer is not allowed to have an interruption in your work schedule without a split shift compensation except for a legitimate meal breaks. For example if your employer assigned you two non-consecutive shifts in the same day. California Industrial Welfare Commission defined a split shift as “a work schedule, which is interrupted by non-paid non-working periods established by the employer, other than a bona fide rest or meal period.” If you worked such a schedule your employer must pay a “split shift differential,”. The compensation for split shift differential is equal to at least all hours worked multiplied by the minimum wage, plus an extra hour of minimum wage. Important notes regarding “split shift Differential”:
- Only non-exempt employees are entitled to such compensation.
- Split shift differential is considered a non-work compensation therefore it should be paid at the minimum wages rate.
- FLSE has taken the position that a bona fide meal break is one that does not exceed 60 minutes in length, therefore any interruption exceeding a 60 minutes should give rise to a split shift situation.
- If you reside at the place of employment you are not entitled to split shift.
EXAMPLES ON HOW TO CALCULATE SPLIT SHIFT DIFFERENTIAL:
Let us assume you reported to work at 8:00am until 1:00pm, and you came back to work at 3:00pm until 5:00pm. Your pay rate is $8:00/hour a California minimum wages. At straight time your employer paid you gross $64.00 (8 hours X $8:00/hour) also you are entitled to one extra hour as a split shift differential at minimum wage rate ($8:00). So, your total compensation is $72.00 ($64.00 plus $8.00). As such you are underpaid $8.00. Assume the same fact above except your pay rate is $10.00/hour. At straight time your employer paid you gross $80.00 (8/hours X $10.00/hour). The split calculation is $72.00 (8 hours plus a split shift one hour = 9 hours X $8). So you compensation of $80.00 is more than the minimum wage and there is no split shift differential bonus due. Any extra amount you make over and above the minimum wage calculation counts against the “split shift bonus hour”. Assuming that you are making $8.50/hour, your gross compensation would be $68.00 (8 hours X $8.50/hour) and the split calculation is $72.00 (8 hours plus a split shift one hour = 9 hours X $8). Therefore you would be owed an extra $4.00 (72.00 less $68.00) for the split shift bonus.
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