As an hourly wage employee, you may be concerned that you’re not getting the mandatory work breaks in California for meals and rest. Or perhaps you’re simply researching your rights as mandated by the lunch and bathroom break laws in California. No matter what questions you may have related to the laws for meal (lunch) and rest periods (breaks), Goyette, Ruano & Thompson has the answers.
Work Break Laws in California
Under the federal FLSA law, neither unpaid meal (lunch) periods nor paid rest periods (breaks) are required. Under CA wage law or labor laws for lunch breaks in California, however, a meal period (lunch) of at least 30 minutes of unpaid time must be provided any time work shifts of six hours or more are worked by employees.
For work shifts of between five and six hours, the same meal period (lunch) is required unless employees voluntarily waive the meal period in writing. In addition, paid ten-minute rest periods (breaks) must be provided under CA wage law for every four hours worked. So, for a standard eight-hour work shift, one unpaid meal period (lunch) of thirty minutes or more, and two ten minute paid rest periods (breaks) must be provided.
Similarly, employees who work in shifts of more than ten hours are also eligible for a second thirty minute meal break. However, the employee may waive the right to the second meal period break if they did not waive the right to the first meal break – this is only applicable for shifts of not more than twelve hours.
Are you not receiving the mandatory work breaks in California? Contact us today – our highly experienced and qualified work break lawyers in Sacramento can help!
What Time Should Hourly Employees Be Paid for in California?
Although the hours worked and compensated for seem quite straightforward, in some cases they may not be. If any of the required meal (lunch) or rest periods (break) are not provided, the employer faces paying the employee one hour of straight time pay for each missed meal (lunch) or rest period (break). A meal (lunch) or rest period (break) is considered ‘missed’ if each meal or rest period is not ‘uninterrupted’ time during which no work is performed.
Take the instance where employees are required to be “on call”. Typically it is not required for non-exempt employees to remain onsite at the facility or continue working during a meal period. Therefore, even when no work is performed, meal or rest period can be considered ‘missed’ if employees are ‘on call’ to perform work; for example, if employees are not allowed to leave the employer’s premises for meal periods, to engage in any personal pursuits they choose, the meal period may be considered ‘missed’ and become compensable time.
In addition, only in cases where the nature of the job requires that the employee remains on site even during breaks and when the employee agrees in writing to stay “on call” during meal breaks, is the “on call” lunch break allowed. Also in the latter case, the written agreement must include a clause by the employee that he/she may revoke the agreement at any given time.
It is the employer’s duty to keep a written record of meal periods; no record of rest period has to be kept.
Facing Work Breaks Violations in California? Contact Our Work Break Lawyers in Sacramento
If you are an employee or an employer with specific questions regarding meal (lunch) or rest period (break) under either CA wage law or under the federal FLSA, contact Goyette, Ruano & Thompson’s work break lawyers in Sacramento for a free consultation and review.
If you are an employee or an employer with specific questions regarding meal (lunch) or rest period (break) under either CA wage law or under the federal FLSA, contact Goyette, Ruano & Thompson’s work break lawyers in Sacramento for a free consultation and review and review.