Many workers in California may have to deal with situations in which their employers deny them a meal break, lunch or rest period no matter how many hours they have worked that day. However, under state law, employers have a responsibility to make sure that their employees receive sufficient breaks during the day. If you're a California worker struggling with denied rest and meal breaks, you may want to know more about the law and how you protect your rights.
Under the Labor Code, workers are entitled to receive one hour of extra pay for every day that they do not receive their mandatory rest breaks. If their meal breaks are not provided, they must receive an additional one hour of extra pay. Employers may be required to pay this additional compensation if they deprive workers of their right to take breaks or attempt to require off-the-clock work.
In California, most workers have a right to a 30-minute meal break for every five hours on the job. This break is counted as work time, and employees must not be required to do any work during the break. In addition, employers are prohibited from asking employees to split up their break time or keep working instead. In addition to the meal break, employees have a right to take a 10-minute-long break for every four hours that they work. Employers are also responsible for documenting information about wages, hours and breaks.
Despite the law, workers in restaurants, hotels, retail stores, construction projects, call centers and elsewhere regularly face violations of wage and hour laws. Our experienced labor law attorneys can work with you to determine the best action to take if your employer is violating the law. To learn more about employee rights to wages, hours and breaks, visit our page on the subject.