Meal and Rest Breaks
What are my employer's obligations regarding meal breaks?
In California, an employer must ensure that non-exempt employees are given an uninterrupted 30 minute meal period after five hours of work and a second meal period after 10 hours of work. An employer who fails to provide the required meal break is liable for one additional hour of pay for each day a violation occurs.
What are my employer's obligations regarding rest breaks?
Employers must permit rest periods for all nonexempt employees whose total daily work time is at least 3.5 hours. These mandatory rest breaks must be offered at the rate of 10 minutes for every four hours worked, or major fraction thereof. As a general rule, and insofar as practicable, the rest period must be in the middle of the four-hour work period. An employer who fails to provide proper rest breaks is liable for one additional hour of pay per day of violation.
Employees are entitled to the following total amount of rest period time per shift:
- 10 minutes rest for shifts from 3-1/2 to 6 hours in length;
- 20 minutes rest for shifts of more than 6 hours up to 10 hours;
- 30 minutes rest for shifts of more than 10 hours up to 14 hours;
- Additional rest time is required consistent with the formula for shifts exceeding 14 hours.
How can an attorney help you?
An attorney can advise you on whether you have been denied proper meal and rest breaks. The law is complex so even if you were given meal breaks each day they might not meet all the legal requirements for meal breaks under California law.
An attorney can determine if you are entitled to back wages and penalties for insufficient meal or rest breaks and can help you navigate the complicated process for filing a Labor Commissioner complaint or state court action. Our firm has dealt with hundreds of wage claims and is experienced in all meal and rest break issues. We will fight to obtain the maximum amount of wages and penalties possible.
Remember: no recovery, no fees. We only get paid if we obtain a positive recovery in your case.
We can review the facts of your case and give you an honest evaluation of any meal break issue you are facing.
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