Meal and Rest Break Violations

Mehtani Law Offices attorneys often file claims against employers for their failure to provide hourly employees with meal and rest break periods.

MEAL PERIOD REQUIREMENT

The California Labor Code generally requires that employers provide hourly employees with an uninterrupted, unpaid meal period of not less than 30 minutes, commencing within the first 5 hours of the employee's shift start time, except when the employee's workday will be completed in 6 hours or less and there is mutual employer/employee consent to waive the meal period. In addition, an employer may not employ an employee for a work period of more than 10 hours per day without providing the employee with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee only if the first meal period was not waived.

For each day that an employee is unable to take a 30 minute meal break, the employee is entitled to a meal period "premium" equivalent to 1 hour of pay at the employee's then applicable hourly wage rate.

REST PERIOD REQUIREMENT

The California Labor Code also generally requires that employers provide hourly employees with one 10 minute, paid rest break for every 4 hours of work.

If the employee works at least 3.5 hours in a day, the employee is entitled to a rest break, and the employer must provide a rest break of at least 10 consecutive minutes for each 4 hours worked. Rest breaks must to the extent possible occur around the middle of each 4 hour work period. Your employer may require you to remain on work premises during your rest break, but you cannot be required to work during any required rest break. Rest breaks are not mandatory and you are permitted under the law to skip your rest breaks, however your employer is not permitted to discourage or force you to skip these breaks.

Similar to meal breaks, for each day that an employee is unable to take permitted rest breaks, the employee is entitled to a rest period "premium" equivalent to 1 hour of pay at the employee's then applicable hourly wage rate.

There are a number of additional exceptions and nuances regarding meal and rest break requirements, and you should consult an attorney for more information. You can contact Mehtani Law Offices at any time at (213) 291-6900 or toll-free at (844) 501-6690 or send us a message if you are not receiving meal or rest breaks or otherwise believe you are owed any meal or rest break premiums.