PENALTIES FOR MISSED MEAL AND REST BREAKS
California law requires employers to give employees a paid ten-minute rest break for every four hours worked. In addition, employees are entitled to an unpaid 30-minute meal break once they work five hours. An employee who works more than ten hours is entitled to a second unpaid 30-minute meal break.
To comply with these rules, employers must do everything possible to communicate the legal requirements of California’s employee break laws to nonexempt workers and provide them opportunities to take meal and rest breaks.
The employer satisfies its legal obligation to provide an off duty meal period to its employees if it:
- Relieves its employees of all duty.
- Relinquishes control over their activities.
- Permits them a reasonable opportunity to take an uninterrupted, 30-minute break.
- Does not impede or discourage them from doing so.
Under California law, employers owe a penalty of one hour of pay at the employee is regular rate for every workday in which a meal break is not provided. The same rule applies to rest breaks.
For example, if you work an eight-hour shift, and your employer fails to provide you with meal and rest breaks, you can collect two hours of pay ñ one hour for the missed meal period and one hour for the missed rest breaks.
David Payab, Esq. from The Law Offices of Payab & Associates can be reached @ (818) 918-5522 or by visiting http://payablaw.com/