Most California employees are required to have meal breaks and rest periods under the law. Usually the employee must be considered non-exempt to have this right. It is possible for employees who are exempt to have a right to a meal break, just not rest periods. Here a few more things to know about meal and rest breaks in the California workplace.
The number of breaks an employee has a right to take will be dependent on the length of their shift. For example, an employee that works between 6 and 10 hours is entitled to two paid 10-minute breaks and one unpaid 30-minute meal break. Further, you employer can ask that you work during any of these breaks or encourage you to skip your breaks. Employees are also allowed to take their meal breaks outside of their place of employment.
The number of breaks and meals increase as the length of the shift increases. Should an employer fail to give an employee their break or rest period, the employee is entitled to one extra hour of pay at the employer’s regular hourly rate. If multiple breaks or meals are missed due to the employer, the employee is entitled an extra hour of pay per work day for breaks and an additional extra hour of pay for meal breaks. Should the employer wish to avoid having to pay two hours of extra pay to a 12-hour employee due to missed breaks, it would be in their best interest to ensure every employee is taking their rest breaks correctly.
While employers are required to face the penalties for missed breaks, some may decide they don’t want to pay for their mistakes. In these cases, it is very important to contact a lawyer experienced in California employment laws. It is possible to sue your employer for missed breaks but having a lawyer will help in navigating complicated employment laws. California employers are required to provide rest breaks to their employees and to not do so can lead to grave consequences. If you’re having trouble with your employer skipping your meals and breaks, call the attorneys at CounselOne. We’ll work to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.