Many California employers face lawsuits for meal and rest break compliance. There’s a lot that can be done to avoid accidentally not providing employees with the meal and rest breaks they’re entitled to. Here are some tips for employers to help ensure that meal and rest breaks are taken appropriately:

– Evaluate systems to ensure that they don’t hinder employees from taking rest and meal breaks. For example, make sure that employees are not being schedule too much.
– Schedule breaks and relief rather than relying on employees to do it without prompting.
– Ensure that employees record the time out and time in for the meal period. Note that in the absence of proof that an employee took a meal period (ie. clocking out), it will be presumed they did not. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure they have the opportunity to take the meal break.
– Have a complaint written “on-duty meal period” agreement on file.
– Set up a system for employees to report violations.
– Track and discipline violations.
– Talk to the employees who miss breaks. The key here is to show the employees that they have a responsibility to take breaks they have been provided and that they cannot just not take it to try to get the premium pay, and doing so will result in disciplinary action.

Taking the above precautions will ensure employers will face less meal and rest break violations.

The Law Offices of Payab & Associates is a Los Angeles based law firm with more than 17 years of experience in employment cases. Our office has successfully litigated many complex disputes including wrongful termination, sexual harassment, racial discrimination, wage and labor disputes, and retaliation cases


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