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Meal & Rest Break Violations

One of the most common wage and hour violations in California is a failure to provide meal and rest breaks. Employers often fail to allow their hourly employees to exercise their rights to take meal periods and rest breaks allowed by law. If you believe your employer has committed meal and rest break violations, contact Glick Law Group for a free consultation.

Meal Period Violations

In addition to paid 10 minute rest periods, hourly employees who work shifts of five hours or more are entitled to take an unpaid 30 minute meal break. If you miss the break, or are called back to work during the half hour or perform any work-related tasks during that time, such as working from your desk or answering a customer’s question, the law is broken and you need to be paid one extra hour of pay for that day.

The strongest meal break violation cases involve:

  • Employees not receiving a break at all,
  • Employees having their break interrupted, or
  • Employees receiving their break too late in the day (i.e., after the start of the fifth hour).

These cases are most common in companies that schedule appointments so tightly that there is no opportunity to take a break, for employees in field positions who are driving from point A to point B and cannot stop, or for employees who go through security checks that cut down their meal period to below a half hour.

Rest Break Violations

Hourly employees are entitled to take a 10 minute rest period for every four hours they work. These 10 minute breaks should fall as near as possible to the middle of the employees’ four hour work period. Employers are not only obligated to grant their employees these paid 10 minute breaks, they’re also required to clearly inform their employees of the right to take them.

Although employers must allow their employees to take these paid ten minute breaks, employees are not required to take them. Moreover, employers will not be penalized if their employees freely decide not to take them.

Further an employee who works for eight hours or more is entitled to two paid 10 minute breaks, they’re not entitled to group them together to take a 20 minute break or to use their unused break time as an excuse to leave work early.

Employer Not Allowing You to Take Meal or Rest Breaks?

If you believe you have a claim against your employer for meal and rest break violations in California, contact Glick Law Group today. Our legal team will evaluate your claim for free.