Meal Period and Rest Break Violations
Meal Period and Rest Break Violations
Under California law, if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to a 30-minute uninterrupted, duty-free meal period if you work more than 5 hours in a workday. When a shift is not longer than six hours, the meal period may be waived but only by mutual consent of the employer and employee. When an employee works a ten hour shift, the employer is required to provide the employee with two 30 minute meal periods. If the employee does not work more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived but only by mutual consent of the employer and the employee, and only if the first meal period was not waived. California workers are entitled to be relieved of all duty during 30 minute meal breaks. In other words, they generally should not be required to work during their meal periods. If an employee is required to work during a meal break, it is regarded as an “on duty” meal period and is supposed to be counted as paid time worked under California law.
You are also entitled to a 10-minute uninterrupted, duty-free rest breaks for every 4 hours you work. Ten minute rest breaks are supposed to be permitted in the middle of each work day (if practical). Employees are entitled to one ten minute rest period for each four hours of work, based on the total number of hours worked daily.
If an employer does not provide an employee with a meal or rest period, the employer must pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each work day that a meal or rest period is not provided. If an employer does not do so, workers can recover the unpaid wages in a lawsuit. In this type of a case, workers can be eligible to recover one hour of wages for every day that a meal or rest period was not provided during the four years before the lawsuit was filed, and wages going forward from the date of filing of the case if the worker is still employed and the employer does not begin to provide meal or rest periods. Employees who are not provided with meal or rest periods are often eligible to pursue other causes of action against their employers such as claims for unpaid overtime, waiting time penalties for unpaid wages, and more.
It is also illegal for an employer to retaliate against employees for asking for wages they believe they are owed for the denial of meal or rest periods, or for filing claims with the Labor Commissioner.
If you believe you are not being provided with the opportunity to properly take the meal periods and rest breaks which you are entitled to, or if you are being forced to work during your breaks, your legal rights may have been violated. Give us a call at 855-IM-FIRED for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys have substantial experience with these types of cases representing individuals who have been unable to take their meal periods and rest breaks at work and/or are being retaliated against for raising these issues with their employer.
There are no up-front costs and you do not pay any attorneys’ fees unless we get a recovery in the case.
Contact our Los Angeles California employment attorneys and lawyers now for all of your employee rights’ needs!
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