Oakland, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: I recently began working as a salaried employee. I was not told that work schedule would be a split shift on most days.

What is the expectation from the employer as it relates to split shifts without employee notification abs or consent?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Brad S Kane
Brad S Kane
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: According to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement,

Workers who earn the minimum wage per hour are entitled to additional pay known as a “split shift premium” when their schedule includes a split shift. The premium is equal to one hour of pay at the rate of the minimum wage. (Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders 1-15, Section 4)

An employee who is paid more than minimum wage may also be due a split shift premium, however, the greater the wage the lower the premium will be.

Also note, an employee who resides at the place of employment is exempt from the split shift premium.

1. Q. What is a split shift?

A. A split shift is a work schedule that is interrupted by non-paid and non-working time periods established by the employer. The time period between shifts needs to be longer than a bona fide meal period and needs to be within the same workday. The break between shifts cannot be a meal or rest break and must be to the benefit of the employer. If an employee requests the break for their own convenience, then it is not a split shift. An example of a split shift is a restaurant worker whose schedule is to work from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and return at 4:00 p.m. to work the dinner shift.

A minimum wage employee with a split shift schedule must be paid a split shift premium. The employee must be paid the premium each shift their daily schedule is split.

2. Q. How much is the split shift premium?

A. The split shift premium is one hour at the state minimum wage, or the local minimum wage if there is one, whichever is greater. Any money earned over and above the state, or local, minimum wage will be credited towards the employer’s obligation to pay the split shift premium.


Inna Brady
Inna Brady
  • Washington, DC
  • Licensed in California

A: If you recently began working as a salaried employee but your duties have not changed, you may want to check with HR whether they correctly classified you as a salaried employee. A salaried employee is usually exempt from the overtime, meal break, rest break requirements. To be a salaried employee, your duties must be of a certain kind (administrative, professional, executive, salesperson, software engineer) and you must receive a minimum exemption base salary (typically, it's more than $684 a week).

Read more about exempt/ non-exempt distinction here:


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