Workers Can’t Be “On Call” During Breaks—California Supreme Court

According to the Associated Press (23rd December 2016), the California Supreme Court has ruled that workers in California cannot be required by their employers to be “available” or “on-call” during their short rest breaks and that employers must give up any control over how employees spend that time.

The ruling came in a lawsuit by security guards for ABM Security Services Inc. The high court said the firm’s policy of requiring guards to keep their radios on and respond to needs, such as escorting a tenant to the parking lot during rest periods, violates state law.

The Ruling

In the ruling, joined by 4 of the 7 members of the court, Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar acknowledged the problem, writing, “An employee on call cannot take a brief walk — five minutes out, five minutes back — if at the farthest extent of the walk he or she is not in a position to respond.” … “Employees similarly cannot use their 10 minutes to take care of other personal matters that require truly uninterrupted time — like pumping breast milk or completing a phone call to arrange child care.”

The bottom line: If your employer requires you to be “available” for company business during your rest breaks, this is no longer legal in California. If you experience such treatment, contact us for help with this issue.


NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
2700 N Main St, Suite 602, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 543-8416
  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle
  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle
  • Yelp - Grey Circle

DISCLAIMER: The information that appears on this website is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice or legal opinion. The transmission or reception of any information through this website will not create or establish an attorney-client relationship, and will not act or depend on any information that appears on this website without seeking the specific and competent legal advice of a lawyer. The laws change constantly, and the information that appears on this website may be outdated and inapplicable to your circumstances and is not guaranteed. DO NOT SEND CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION THROUGH THIS WEB SITE since an attorney-client relationship will only be established through a written contract from Maurice L. Abarr, Lawyer, Inc., and in no other way. Each case is unique, therefore, the testimonies and endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, guarantee or prediction regarding the outcome of your possible case. Required notice: "Making a false or fraudulent worker's compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $ 50,000 or twice the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or both in prison and in fine. "

© 2018 by Maurice L. Abarr - Lawyer, Inc. Designed and Developed by Client Growth Marketing