California Employment Law Attorney
What is California's Law on Meal & Rest Breaks?

What is California's Law on Meal & Rest Breaks?

Has your employer required you skip your meal or rest break due to a busy period during the workday? You might be left wondering, are they legally allowed to do that? In this blog, our Hollister employment law lawyer discusses your rights under California law.

Meal Break Requirements

Non-exempt employees are entitled to meal breaks every five hours worked. These meal breaks should be unpaid, off-duty meal breaks of at least 30 minutes. The meal break must occur before the end of the fifth hour. For the meal break requirement to be fully met, an employer must relieve the employee of all duties, and cannot discourage employees from taking meal breaks.

It is possible to waive a lunch break if an employee is only working six hours, but both the employee and the employer must give consent. If an employee is scheduled to work more than 10 hours, then the employer is required to offer a second meal break by the end of the 10th hour. They employee is entitled to waive their second meal break if they are only working a total of 12 hours.

Rest Break Requirements

Employers are required to provide at least a 10-minute rest break if an employee works a total of 3.5 hours. Breaks should be offered during the middle of the work four-hour period.

Consequences for Missed Breaks

In California, employers who violate these laws could be fined. If an employee fails to provide a meal break for an employee, they owe that employee an hour of pay at their regular pay rate. Employees have up to three years to claim their unpaid wages. Find out how to fight for your unpaid wages here.

At Marder Employment Law, we understand how frustrating it can be to have your rights violated by your employee. Hard working individuals deserve rest breaks and meal breaks. If your employer has prohibited, discouraged or impeded your ability to take your meal or rest breaks, contact our Hollister employment law attorney today.


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