Companies use many different systems to pay employees. One such system is a hybrid pay system, where an employee earns an hourly rate as well as a wage for productive tasks. For example, an employee who is paid $4 per hour and additionally $0.10 per box unloaded from a truck. Recent cases discuss how companies that utilize a hybrid pay system should pay their employees a minimum wage for rest periods.
According to a May 8, 2013 decision in Bluford v. Safeway Stores, “rest periods must be separately compensated in a piece-rate system. Rest periods are considered hours worked and must be compensated… A piece-rate compensation formula that does not compensate separately for rest periods does not comply with California minimum wage law.” In other words, earnings for productive tasks cannot be used to subsidize rest breaks.