Employment Law Blog

Filter:  C.C.R. § 11040

Accurate Time Records for Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees

In cases where an employer failed to maintain accurate records of employees’ hours worked, evidence of the extent of employees’ working hours must be established primarily by testimonial evidence.  This is the established method of proof:
“[W]here the employer’s records are inaccurate or inadequate and the employee cannot offer convincing substitutes a . . . difficult problem arises.  The solution, however, is not to penalize the employee by denying him any recovery on the ground that he is unable to prove the precise extent of uncompensated work.  Such a result would place a premium on an employer’s failure to keep proper records in conformity with his statutory duty; it would allow the employer to keep the benefits of an employee’s labors without paying due compensation.  . . .  In such a situation we hold that an employee has carried out his burden if he proves that he has in fact performed work for which he was improperly compensated and if he produces sufficient evidence to show the amount and extent of that work as a matter of just and reasonable inference.  The burden then shifts to the employer to come forward with evidence of the precise amount of work performed or with evidence to negative the reasonableness of the inference to be drawn from the employee’s evidence.”
Hernandez v. Mendoza (1988), 199 Cal.App.3d 721, 727 (quoting Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. (1946) 328 U.S. 680, 687–688).


California Employer Duties and Employee Rights

California Labor Code section 510 requires employers to pay overtime compensation for hours worked over 8 per day and 40 per week. An employer may avoid paying overtime for hours worked over 8 per day by adopting a valid Alternative Workweek Schedule (“AWS”). The procedures for adopting a valid AWS are set forth in Labor Code § 511 and the relevant Industrial Welfare Commission (“IWC”) Wage Order No. 4 at California Code of Regulations, title 8, § 11040, subd. 3(B). Among other things, the law requires an employer to hold a secret ballot election regarding the AWS amongst its employees and to file the results of the election with the State. Prior to the election, the employer must issue a written notification to the affected employees, explaining the election process and the effects of the AWS on the employees’ work schedule and compensation.


“On-Duty” Meal Periods

The Labor Code affords employees a right to off-duty meal breaks, not just permission to eat while on-duty. The applicable Wage Order requires employers to provide every non-exempt employee who works more than five hours with daily “off duty meal periods,” consisting of an uninterrupted 30-minute period during which the employee is relieved of all duty. Wage Order 4-2001, 8 C.C.R. § 11040(11), reads as follows:

“No employer shall employ any person for a work period of more than five (5) hours without a meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that when a work period of not more than six (6) hours will complete the day’s work the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and the employee. Unless the employee is relieved of all duty during a 30 minute meal period, the meal period shall be considered an “on duty” meal period and counted as time worked.”