One Day of Rest in Seven


Employees who work in factory or retail establishments must receive one day off (24 consecutive hours) per calendar week (Sunday through Saturday), unless an exception applies.

The law does not require that the rest must be given every 7 days. For example, an employer may legally schedule work for 12 consecutive days within a 2 week period if the days of rest fall on the first and last days of the 2 week period.

Are there any exceptions to this law?

I work in healthcare. Does my employer have to give me one day off each week?

No. This law applies only to employees of factories or retail establishments.


Upon joint request of labor and management, the department may grant modifications or waivers of this requirement. To request a waiver, send a written request, preferably by email, to

Labor Standards Coordinator
Equal Rights Division
PO Box 8928
Madison, WI 53708

Waivers for Employees Represented by Unions

If there is a union representing employees subject to the requested waiver, please submit a joint request signed by labor and management. The letter should:

  • Explain the necessity for the waiver and should explain the agreement between the parties as to the scope of the waiver (who is covered, when they can be asked to work overtime) and length of the waiver (no longer than the term of the current collective bargaining agreement).
  • Explain any agreement between the parties as to the voluntary nature of work on the seventh day.

Waivers for Non-Union Employees

If the employees are not represented by a union, the employer may request a waiver jointly with one member of the workforce. The letter should:

  • Explain the necessity for the waiver and should provide the requested length of the waiver (no longer than 6 months).
  • Explain that the employer understands that work on the seventh day must be voluntary on the part of each employee.

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