On September 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1512 (“AB 1512”), which for the first time allows employers to require their unionized security officers to take on-duty rest breaks.  Historically, employees could agree to take on-duty meal breaks (with certain prerequisites), but the law was silent as to on-duty rest breaks.  In enacting AB 1512, the legislature recognized that security officers must be able to respond to emergency situations without delay, must carry and monitor a communication device at all times, and must remain on the premises and on-call during paid rest breaks.

This law provides much-needed clarity to the applicable meal and rest break standards for security officers in California.  Effective immediately, registered security officers covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement may be required to (1) stay on the premises during rest breaks, (2) remain on-call during rest breaks, and (3) carry and monitor a communication device during their 10-minute rest breaks.

In order for this rule to apply, the collective bargaining agreement must expressly provide for:

  • the employees’ wages,
  • hours of work,
  • working conditions,
  • rest periods,
  • final and binding arbitration of disputes concerning the rest period provisions,
  • premium wage rates for all overtime hours worked,
  • and a regular hourly rate of pay of not less than $1 more than the state minimum wage rate.

If the security officer’s on-duty rest break is interrupted (i.e. if the officer is called upon to return to performing their active duties), the officer may restart the 10-minute rest break as soon as practicable.  A rest break is not “interrupted” just because the officer must remain on the premises, must remain on call and alert, and must monitor a radio or other communication device.  A rest break premium penalty is only owed if the security officer is unable to take an uninterrupted 10-mintue break for every four hours worked or every major fraction thereof.  To the extent this law conflicts with the California Supreme Court’s decision in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. (2016) 2 Cal.5th 257, the Augustus case is abrogated.

Jackson Lewis will continue tracking state legislation that is relevant to employers. If you have questions about the effects of this or other recent legislation contact a Jackson Lewis attorney to discuss.