Alternative Workweek Hours May Start 30 Days After Announcement

herman_gary_SMIs the 30-day delay from the date of an alternative workweek vote to the institution of the schedule mandatory?

Yes, as far as an employer requiring the commencement of an alternative workweek goes.

Section 511 of the California Labor Code and Section 3 of the Industrial Welfare Commission orders establish the process through which an alternative workweek must be adopted.

Secret Ballot Election

They provide that upon the employer proposing the alternative workweek to the employees in a readily identifiable work unit, the proposal may be adopted by a two-thirds favorable vote of the employees in the work unit in a secret ballot election.

The proposed agreement must designate a regularly scheduled alternative workweek in which the specified number of work days and work hours are recurring regularly. The actual days worked within that alternative workweek schedule need not be specified.

Before the election, the employer must disclose in writing to the affected employees the effects of the proposed agreement. The disclosure shall include meetings, with notice duly given, held at least 14 days prior to the vote.

The employer shall report the results of the secret ballot election to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement within 30 days after the results of the vote are final.

30-Day Delay

Employees affected by a change in the work hours resulting from the adoption of an alternative workweek schedule may not be required to work those new work hours for at least 30 days after the announcement of the final results of the election. This does not prohibit employees who want to begin the alternative workweek from doing so.

The Labor Law Helpline is a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at

Staff Contact: Gary Hermann