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The California Supreme Court has concluded that state law prohibits on-duty and on-call rest periods. “During required rest periods, employers must relieve their employees of all duties and relinquish any control over how employees spend their break time.” Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. (Dec, 22 2016).

In Augustus, the employer conceded that the security guard employees were not relieved of all duties during rest periods. Based on its analysis of relevant statutory provisions and wage orders, the California Supreme Court reversed the ruling of the Court of Appeal.

This case has important implications for all California employers and such employers should ensure that they do not impose duties or exert control over how employees spend their break time and their policies and procedures must be drafted accordingly.