Meal & Rest Breaks

California's strict labor laws provide employees with appropriate meal and rest breaks

Whether an employee is entitled to certain meal and rest break periods depends on whether the employee is an exempt or non-exempt employee.

Non-exempt employees must receive an uninterrupted thirty (30) minute meal break if they work more than five (5) hours in a day. The meal break must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s fifth hour of work. Employees who work more than ten (10) hours in a day are entitled to a second uninterrupted thirty (30) minute meal break. The second meal break must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s tenth hour of work.

Non-exempt employees must also receive an uninterrupted ten (10) minute rest break for every four (4) hours (or major fraction) of work. That usually means that individuals who work between three and a half (3 ½) hours to six (6) hours earn one (1) rest break and individuals who work over six (6) hours to 10 (10) hours earn two (2) rest breaks. Unlike meal breaks, rest breaks must be paid as normal working hours.

Employers usually commit meal and rest break violations by not providing them or interrupting employees while they are taking their meal and rest breaks. However, there are other more subtly ways in which employers commit these violation.

If you are not receiving your meal and rest breaks or if you are being interrupted during your meal and rest breaks, it is important that you immediately contact Nahavandi & Azimtash LLP for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys have substantial experience in labor and employment law and you will not pay any attorney fees unless there is a recovery.

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