FRESNO, California – Datatech continues to follow any developments in farm labor and payroll concerns. Now that the California Supreme Court has ruled on the ‘day of rest’ provision in the Labor Code as it pertains to agriculture, the Farm Labor Employment Service has created a waiver form for employers to provide employees so that they can acknowledge their right to forgo a ‘day of rest’ in seven.
Officials with FELS say, “We’ve developed a form on which an employee acknowledges the employee is choosing to work more than six days in seven in a workweek. An employee’s choice to do so means the statutory prohibition against “causing” an employee to work more than six days in seven and the provision in Labor Code Section 554 for equivalent days of rest in the same calendar month do not apply.”
The California Supreme Court recently provided the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals with an advisory opinion concerning the meaning of “cause” under Labor Code Section 552, which was a consideration in a case pending before the 9th Circuit, Mendoza v. Nordstrom. You can see Datatech’s article on this here.
One other finding with the court in the Mendoza opinion clarified that to “cause” an employee to work beyond six days in a workweek, requiring provision of an equivalent day of rest elsewhere in the same calendar month, an employer must either “compel” or “induce” an employee to work. In contrast, an employer may permit or allow an employee who is fully aware of the legal entitlement of a day of rest to choose not to take it and work on seven or more consecutive days.
Says the Labor Service, “FELS has created a form to help establish that an employee is fully aware of his right to a day of rest but has instead freely chosen to forgo it, the FELS acknowledgment form provides a tool for employers and employees to clarify the compliance situation surrounding rest days. You can find that acknowledgement document, and more information on the FELS website.”
Datatech continues to watch any concerns and issues in farm labor accounting and payroll and report those to our clients and the industry in general.