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Overtime, Rest Meal, and Rest Break Disputes

Overtime, Rest Meal & Rest Break Disputes Lawyer in Woodland Hills

Helping You Understand Your Options & Defend Your Legal Rights

In the state of California, employers are required by law to pay nonexempt employees (or hourly workers) time and a half for overtime work. Overtime work includes working more than 8 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Employers are also required to provide their workers with several uninterrupted breaks during one 8-hour shift, including a 30-minute meal break and two 10-minute rest breaks.

Meal breaks must be provided within the first 5 hours of the workday. If you work 10 hours, then you are entitled to two uninterrupted meal breaks. If you work 12 hours, then you are entitled to three uninterrupted 10-minute rest breaks.

If your employer has failed to follow employment laws regarding overtime, rest breaks, and meal breaks, you may be entitled to financial compensation. At The Law Office of Payab & Associates, our Woodland Hills overtime attorneys and rest break lawyers are prepared to assist you. We have more than 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of workers and have successfully helped thousands of clients navigate the legal process.

Contact our firm at (818) 918-5522 to schedule your initial consultation with our team.

Common Overtime & Rest Break Disputes

There are many instances in which employers fail to adhere to California’s overtime and rest meal/rest break laws.

Common reasons for overtime and rest break disputes include:

  • An employee is misclassified as nonexempt or exempt
  • The employer does not provide required overtime pay
  • Proper meal breaks and rest breaks are disallowed or discouraged
  • Work hours are incorrectly calculated for trainees or full-time workers

If you are facing a dispute regarding overtime pay or improper breaks, our firm is here to help. In every instance, we fight for your best interests, working to recover the damages you are owed.

If an employer fails to provide proper overtime pay or meal/rest breaks, they may be liable for the following:

  • Various penalties for improper breaks
  • Up to four years of back pay for overtime
  • Attorney fees, court costs, interest, and more

More About Rest Periods in California

California law requires that employers allow employees to take a 10-minute paid rest period for every 4 hours worked. The rest period should be given in the middle of the work period as is practicable. If the circumstances of the work prevent the employer from giving a break at the preferred time, the employee must still receive the required break but may take it at another point in the work period.

It is not permissible to choose to work through both of your rest periods so that you can leave your job 20 minutes early or arrive late.

An Overview of Overtime Laws in California

In California, overtime laws ensure workers receive fair compensation for long hours. Employers must pay employees 1.5 times their regular rate for hours worked over 8 in a day. This rate also applies for the first 8 hours on the seventh consecutive workday in a workweek. 

After 12 hours, the rate increases to double the employee’s regular rate. Similarly, work beyond 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day triggers the double rate. 

These overtime rules apply to most employees, but some occupations and industries have exceptions. 

California’s Meal Break Laws

In California, meal break laws are straightforward. Employees who work more than five hours a day earn a 30-minute meal break. The law entitles workers to this break without exception. Furthermore, the break must be uninterrupted. If a workday extends beyond ten hours, a second meal break is due. This break is also for 30 minutes. Employers cannot pressure employees to skip these meal periods.

Workers may choose to waive the first meal break if they do not work more than six hours. They can also waive the second break if the total workday does not exceed 12 hours, and the first break is not waived. Employees must freely consent to waive breaks. Employers cannot force or pressure them onto employees.

Meal breaks are unpaid unless the employee must remain on duty. On-duty meal breaks are allowed when the work demands that employees cannot be relieved of all duties. In such cases, the employee and employer must agree to the on-duty breaks in writing. The employee, however, has the right to revoke the agreement at any time.

Employers must keep accurate records of meal breaks. Employees who face meal break violations may seek legal action. They can recover one hour of pay for each day a meal break was not provided. Compliance with these regulations is critical for workers' well-being and employers' legal responsibilities.

Steps to Take When Employers Deny Breaks or Overtime

When your employer denies your break or overtime pay in California, you should act promptly. 

First, document each instance of missing a break or not receiving your overtime. Note the date, time, and circumstances. 

Then, talk directly to your employer about the incident to clarify any misunderstanding. Keep this conversation focused on facts. 

If your employer still denies you your break or overtime, gather evidence of your claims. Collect pay stubs, work schedules, and any written communication. 

Finally, seek advice from a qualified attorney. Our team can help you contact the Labor Commissioner's Office, and we can assist with filing a formal complaint with them. We can help you collect and copy your evidence, and we are here to help with all hearings. Our firm can work with you. We can show you how to provide clear, concise testimony about your circumstances. 

We Have Recovered Millions on Behalf of Our Clients

When you need an overtime, rest meal, or rest break attorney in Woodland Hills, you can rely on The Law Office of Payab & Associates. With more than two decades of legal experience, we’ve helped thousands of clients fight for their rights, recovering millions of dollars and successfully litigating even the most complex disputes. No matter how complicated or difficult your case is, we are prepared to aggressively advocate on your behalf.

Need help with an overtime or rest break dispute? Call The Law Office of Payab & Associates at (818) 918-5522 today. You can also contact us online.

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Why Choose The Law Office of Payab & Associates?

  • No fees or costs unless we recover money for you
  • Tens of Millions of dollars recovered for our clients
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