As many crops are gearing up for harvest, now is a good time to review your Rest & Recovery (CA)/Paid Rest Breaks (WA) payroll procedures.

California Employers: A comprehensive guide to rest & recovery and non-productive time, including examples of wage calculations, can be found at

Washington Employers: The Rest Break Administrative Policies can be found at

It is important for Datatech customers to realize that the software is designed to handle rest/break calculations for both states, which have different rules (discussed below).

Getting Instructions

Detailed instructions on the Rest & Recovery setup and usage are accessible from your Help menu. Under the Payroll Reference menu, click The “Add Breaks” Feature in Daily Payroll sub-menu. This gives you a list of options including setup, how to use the option to create breaks, and how calculations are made.

Differences between California & Washington Calculations

There are two main differences between California &Washington break/rest rules.

1) When Breaks must be separated…

In California, if there are any piecework wages in the week, all breaks, even breaks taken while being paid on an hourly basis, must be paid out at the regular rate of pay.

Washington only requires breaks paid out separately when engaged in piecework.

When you use the Add Breaks function, the option to create break time from hourly wages should default based on your state. However, you may need to change the default depending on your particular circumstances. Note the selections below:

Add/Update Breaks Window

Note: You are responsible for accurately paying break time.  If you use the create breaks tool, you should review your time sheets for any additional heat recovery illness breaks taken or missed breaks that may need adidtional wages entered to compensate the employee appropriately.

2) The Rate breaks are paid at… 

In California, the Regular Rate of Pay rule follows the Federal definition. All wages, exclusive of overtime premium, is divided by all hours worked to get the average hourly rate for breaks. This means any non-productive or hourly time will factor into the average rate.

In Washington, even though they use the same terminology “Regular Rate of Pay”, they defined the calculation based on piecework wages and hours only. Any hourly entries are excluded from the average rate calculation.

Thus, Datatech software has two options for the break/rest pay rate calculation method. When you generate the Daily Payroll Batch Report or Rest & Recovery Rate report, you should check the Rest and Recovery Pay Rate option. California users would select Regular Rate of Pay. Washington employers would select Ave. Hourly Piece Rate. See the following image.

Once selected, the program should remember the last used option. However, we have had customers accidentally select the wrong rate and continue to use that rate. This is because they did not review the selection on future payroll batches. You should review these options for each batch of payroll.

Rest & Recovery options on Daily Payroll Batch Report

We hope you use the Help and Videos for reviewing the setup & usage of the Rest & Recovery options. If you have any questions after reviewing this material, please email our support dept. at Then, a representative will schedule a time to review any questions with you.

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