Navigating Employment Compliance Laws – Split Shifts and Spread of Hours

Apr 29, 2021

States have passed legislation that requires companies to compensate hourly employees who work split shifts and to limit the spread of hours for an employee’s shift. Today, we’ll review the new laws and show you how the Legion workforce management platform helps companies stay in compliance.

Split Shift Laws

Companies schedule their hourly workers based on expected demand, which often requires split shifts to cover peak and lull times. For example, a restaurant may schedule workers for the lunch rush and then later in the evening for the dinner rush. Split shifts are not ideal for hourly workers because they either have to take a long break between shifts or make a second trip to work. Hourly workers in California and New York State receive a premium. 

Split shift laws in California and New York State require hourly workers to have less than a one-hour break between consecutive shifts. If employers fail to comply with this law, the worker is owed one hour of premium pay at the minimum wage rate. The premium amount can be reduced or waived if the employee makes more than the minimum wage rate. 

How Legion WFM Can Help

Legion WFM allows admins to set up a Split Shift rule in the Compliance template. Admins can configure break periods, for example, one hour for a Split Shift, plus the premium amount to be paid if there’s a scheduling violation.

The Legion WFM scheduler will not schedule hourly workers for shifts that would result in a Split Shift violation. Also, Legion WFM will flag managers if they manually schedule an employee for a Split Shift. And in the timesheet, if an employee’s clocks have a Split Shift, Legion WFM can automatically assess the premium.

Spread of Hours Legislation

New York State has implemented a Spread of Hours law. It was passed to ensure an employee’s total workday, from the beginning of the first shift to the end of the last shift, is less than 10 hours. 

The Spread of Hours law doesn’t review a worker’s total clock-in time. It focuses on the total number of hours from the first clock-in to the last clock-out for the day. For example, if the employee clocked in from 7-9am, and then again from 5-7pm, the employer would face a Spread of Hours violation because the employee worked 12 hours total in the workday, even though the employee only clocked 4 hours. Similar to the Split Shift violations, hourly workers receive a premium for a Spread of Hours violation. 

How Legion WFM Can Help

Legion WFM allows admins to set up a Spread of Hours rule in the Compliance template. Admins can configure the total number of hours in a workday before a Spread of Hours violation is assessed. For example, they can set 10 hours as the limit and also the premium amount paid to the employee for this violation. After the Spread of Hours rule is set up, managers will see any Spread of Hours compliance violations flagged in the schedule and timesheet. Legion WFM will also auto-compute premiums, and managers will see them in the timesheet.

Learn More

Legion WFM is an AI-powered and cloud-native workforce management platform that delivers the most advanced and intuitive enterprise solution. With schedule empowerment, gig-like flexibility, and modern self-service tools, employees love it too.

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