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?
- This section does not apply to an employee who states in writing that he or she voluntarily chooses to work without a day off in 7 consecutive days.
- This section does not apply to janitors; watchmen; persons employed in the manufacture of butter, cheese or other dairy products or in the distribution of milk or cream; or in canneries and freezers; persons employed in bakeries, flour and feed mills, hotels, and restaurants; employees whose duties include no work on Sunday other than caring for live animals or maintaining fires, and any labor called for by emergency that could not reasonably have been anticipated.
- In paper and pulp mills, this section does not apply to superintendents or department heads whose work is supervisory and not manual. It does apply to machine operators in paper and pulp mills, but in those mills it does not apply to millwrights, electricians, pipe fitters, and other employees whose duties include not more than five hours of essential work on Sunday, making necessary repairs to boilers, piping, wiring or machinery.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.