Meal & Rest Periods (Breaks)

Under California law, employees must get a 10-minute break for every four hours worked provided that the work day is at least five hours long. Employees are also entitled to an uninterrupted 30 minute meal break after 5 hours if the workday is 6 hours or more. An employee may consent to waive her meal period if her workday is 6 hours or less. An on-duty meal period is counted as time worked and permitted only when the nature of the work prevents relief from all duties and there is a written agreement between the parties.

An employee may revoke such an agreement at any time. If the employer does not give its employee such rest and meal breaks, it must pay the employee an hour's pay at the employee's regular hourly wage rate. There are no federal labor or employment laws that require employers to set specific intervals or even make time for employees to take work breaks or eat meals. However, under federal law, employers who do have a policy of giving one or more short rest breaks of about 20 minutes or less, must pay employees for their time while on such work breaks.

It is currently undecided by the California Supreme Court whether employers must ensure that employees take their meal breaks or merely provide them. It is also undecided whether meal break violations are amenable to class action lawsuits.

For a free consultation with an experienced employee rights attorney, contact David Spivak:

  • Email David@SpivakLaw.com
  • Call toll free (877) 277-2950
  • Visit The Spivak Law Firm, 9454 Wilshire Blvd., Ste 303, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
  • Fax (310) 499-4739

For further information on your rights in the work place, please visit our other websites:

Discrimination FightDiscrimination.net
Wrongful termination FightWrongfulTermination.com
Sexual harassment FightSexualHarassment.com
Unpaid wages and overtime MyWorkMyWages.com
Family and medical leave FMLALawyers.com
Pregnancy discrimination PregnancyRights.com
Disability discrimination FightDisabilityDiscrimination.com
Age discrimination FightAgeDiscrimination.com
Employee Rights Blog CaliforniaEmployeeRightsAttorney.
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