California’s New AB 1512 Revises Security Officer Rest Period Rules

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

On September 30, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1512, which amends California Labor Code Section 226.7 by authorizing employers to require certain unionized private security officers “to remain on the premises during rest periods and to remain on call, and carry and monitor a communication device, during rest periods.” Although AB 1512 became effective immediately upon the governor’s signature, it applies only to cases filed on or after January 1, 2021. The statute remains in effect until January 1, 2027.

The amended statute applies only if the following conditions are satisfied:

  • The employer and employee must both be registered under California’s Private Security Services Act.
  • “The employee is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement.”
  • “The valid collective bargaining agreement expressly provides for the wages, hours of work, and working conditions of employees.” The agreement also must “expressly provide[] for rest periods for those employees, final and binding arbitration of disputes concerning application of its rest period provisions, premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked, and a regular hourly rate of pay of not less than one dollar more than the state minimum wage rate.”

Employers that meet the above conditions may require security officers to remain on-site and on-call, and to monitor their communication devices during rest periods. If a security officer’s statutory 10-minute rest period is interrupted, the employer must allow the security officer to “restart a rest period anew as soon as practicable.” For purposes of the statute, “interrupted” is defined as “any time a security officer is called upon to return to performing the active duties of the security officer’s post prior to completing the rest period.”

Under the amended statute, “[i]f on any workday a security officer is not permitted to take an uninterrupted rest period of at least 10 minutes for every four hours worked or major fraction thereof, then the security officer [must] be paid one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular base hourly rate of compensation.”

The amended statute specifically states that it abrogates the Supreme Court of California’s decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., 2 Cal. 5th 257 (2016), to the extent that amended Labor Code Section 226.7 and the court decision conflict. In Augustus, the court ruled that certain on call rest periods did not comply with California law. AB 1512 abrogates Augustus only for the security services industry.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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