FAILURE TO PROVIDE MEAL & REST BREAKS


Under California law, employees who work more than five hours in a day are entitled to take a thirty-minute meal break. If an employee works more than five hours in a day, and the employer does not provide a full thirty-minute break, the employee is entitled to an extra hour of pay.

Meal periods cannot be waived and the employee cannot leave work a half-hour early instead of taking a meal period. Employees must clock out for the meal period and must be completely free from all work for the entire 30 minutes of the meal break. If an employee's meal break is interrupted by any work, or if the employee is required to return early from the meal break, he or she is entitled to an extra hour of pay.

Many of our cases involve employers who require employees to work more than five hours without a meal break, but fail to pay the extra hour of wages required by the Labor Code. An employee who has been required to work more than five hours without a meal break can recover unpaid wages going back four years. Employees can also require that the employer pay a variety of penalties under the California Labor Code.

The amount of money that an employer owes for failing to provide meal breaks can be substantial. If you are an hourly employee and you have ever been required to work more than five hours without a meal break, contact us.