New Ruling Makes It More Difficult To Avoid Seventh-Day Premium

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A recent California appellate decision precludes California employers from defining workweeks under a recurring work schedule that avoids payment of the "seventh day" premium. Seymore v. Metson Marine.

Metson Marine provided crew members and vessel operations for offshore oil recovery. Its crews operated on two-week rotational hitches, alternating between 14 consecutive workdays and 14 consecutive rest days. Each 14 consecutive workday hitch started on a Tuesday at noon and ended 14 days later on a Tuesday at noon.

The California Labor Code requires premium compensation of time and one-half of the regular rate of compensation for the "first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in any one workweek." All hours in excess of the first eight hours are paid at double the regular rate of pay. The Labor Code defines a "workweek" as any seven consecutive days, starting with the same calendar date each week.

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