Meal & Rest Periods (Breaks)
Under California law, employees must get a 10-minute
break for every four hours worked provided that the work day is at least five
hours long. Employees are also entitled to an uninterrupted 30 minute meal
break after 5 hours if the workday is 6 hours or more. An employee may consent
to waive her meal period if her workday is 6 hours or less. An on-duty meal
period is counted as time worked and permitted only when the nature of the work
prevents relief from all duties and there is a written agreement between the
An employee may revoke such an agreement at any time.
If the employer does not give its employee such rest and meal breaks, it must
pay the employee an hour's pay at the employee's regular hourly wage rate.
There are no federal labor or employment laws that require employers to set
specific intervals or even make time for employees to take work breaks or eat
meals. However, under federal law, employers who do have a policy of giving one
or more short rest breaks of about 20 minutes or less, must pay employees for
their time while on such work breaks.
It is currently undecided by the California Supreme
Court whether employers must ensure that employees take their meal breaks or
merely provide them. It is also undecided whether meal break violations are
amenable to class action lawsuits.
For a free consultation with an experienced employee
rights attorney, contact David Spivak:
- Email David@SpivakLaw.com
- Call toll free (877) 876 5744
- 16530 Ventura Boulevard Suite 312 Encino, CA 91436
- Fax (310) 499-4739
For further information on your rights in the work
place, please visit our other websites: