Rest & Meal Break Laws Attorney Santa Rosa, CA | Sonoma County
Labor Laws Regarding Rest Breaks
California labor law requires that nonexempt workers receive a 10-minute paid rest period for every four hours worked.
Accordingly, if an employee works eight hours a day, then the employee is to receive two 10-minute paid rest periods.
In a situation where an employee works an eight-hour work day, the employee should receive a 10-minute rest period in the first 4-hours worked, at least a 30-minute meal period sometime in the middle of the workday and then a second 10-minute rest period in about the middle of the subsequent 4-hour period.
Since employees are paid for their rest periods, they can be required to remain on the employer’s premises during such breaks.
If an employer does not provide all rest period breaks in a day, California labor law states that the employer shall pay the employee one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that any or all rest periods are not provided.
So, if the employee is not provided with one or more rest periods in a workday, the employee is entitled to one hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each day the violation occurs.
Labor Laws Regarding Meal Breaks
California labor law requires that an employee who works for more than five hours per day must receive a meal break of not less than thirty minutes. If the workday is no more than six hours, the meal break may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee.
If an employee works more than ten hours a day, a second meal period of not less than thirty minutes is required. If the total of 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.
To be considered a meal period, employees must be provided with no less than a thirty-minute meal period wherein the employee is: (1) Relieved of all duty during the entire thirty-minute meal period; and (2) Is free to leave the employer’s premises.
These two requirements make sense, because an employee is not paid during meal period breaks, so an employee should be able to leave the premises, as they please. Unless these two requirements are met, the meal period is considered “on duty”, and the employee is to be paid one-hour at the employee’s regular rate of pay.
If You Are Not Getting Rest & Meal Breaks
If you believe that your employer is not allowing you to take your required rest period break, please speak to us. Employment law claims have a short statute of limitations, which means that you are not entitled to a recovery if you wait too long.
The longer you wait the more likely it is you will not be compensated or the amount you are truly owed will be reduced. The only way to know for sure is to contact us.
Initial consultations and evaluations for employment related violations are confidential and free, so there is no cost to you to find out if you have a valid concern and are entitled to compensation.
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