Under California labor law, employees who normally work 8-hour shifts are guaranteed 4 hours minimum pay for any day where they are scheduled or could have a shift. If an employee has to call in, report in, text message, check email, or login to a website to see if he or she has a shift, that employee is entitled to half a day’s page. For part-time employees with irregular work days, if shifts are 8 hours and the employee doesn’t know in advance on any given day if they are scheduled, California law requires compensation for a 4 hour minimum shift. The same minimum-shift rule applies if the employee reports to work but is sent home early.

Not given pay for days when you don't get scheduled?

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California's 4-Hour Minimum Pay Rule

California’s reporting-time pay law says that if a California non-exempt employee has to “report” to work, they must receive at least half their regular hours. A California appellate court recently said that “report” to work includes not only being physically present, but also having to call in to work to see if you are scheduled. The court held that:

telephonic call-in requirements … trigger reporting time pay.

If an employee’s typical shift is less than four hours, California reporting-time law requires that the employee be paid a minimum of two hours at the employee’s regular rate of pay. On the flip side, if an employee’s typical shift is more than 8 hours and the employee only learns same-day whether they are scheduled, the employee is only entitled to a maximum of four hours pay in reporting-time penalties.

wall posting 4-hour minimum shift

Does California labor law require a 4-hour minimum shift?

No, California law does not require that employers have shifts of only 4 hours or more. The California call-in rule only requires that whenever an employee has to check-in to see if they have a shift scheduled that day, the employer must pay them a half shift’s worth of pay if they aren’t scheduled. Because a typical shift is 8 hours, in practice, the rule means that most shift workers must receive at least 4 hours pay if their employer uses a call-in scheduling system.

But there is no minimum shift length. An employer can have shifts of only 1.5 hours. The California rule, however, requires that if a shift is cancelled or not scheduled last minute, an employee with a 1.5-hour shift must receive a minimum of two hours in reporting-time penalties.

Our California Employment Practice

Our California employment attorneys – with over 50 years of collective experience litigating under California employment law – know how to fight for employees’ rights and get them the money they deserve. We’ve recovered tens of millions of dollars for California employees and represent individuals as well as class actions in virtually every area of California employment and labor laws: California overtime law, off the clock violations in CA, breach of contract disputes, California independent contractor law, sexual harassment, employee misclassification, discrimination, as well as mass layoffs in violation of the California WARN Act. Our California employment lawyers are repeatedly recognized for their expertise litigating in California. Founding partner Eric Gibbs has been selected as one of the Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California. And seventeen of the firm’s attorneys were selected as Northern California Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, a distinction received by less than 5% of attorneys in Northern California.

About Us

Gibbs Law Group is a California-based law firm committed to protecting the rights of clients nationwide who have been harmed by corporate misconduct. We represent individuals, whistleblowers, employees, and small businesses across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes class action and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and federal and California employment lawsuits. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California,” “Top Class Action Attorneys Under 40,” “Consumer Protection MVP,” “Best Lawyers in America,” and “Top Cybersecurity/ Privacy Attorneys Under 40.”

Denied 4-hour minimum shift pay?

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1-800-254-9493