Meal and Rest Break Violations
California Meal/Rest Break Violations Lawyer
Standing Up for Workplace Rights in the Central Valley & Beyond
Meal and rest break violations can chip away at your morale, your overall financial pay, and make work burdensome, restrictive, and exhaustive. Many California employers feel they can get away with unlawful behavior when it comes to providing legally-mandated breaks for eligible employees. No matter how minor such violations may seem, these violations amount to breaking the law. At Ken Goldman Law, we can hold such employers liable for their illegal behavior through appropriate claims and lawsuits. Where valid claims are successfully resolved, you may be entitled to financial compensation for each break your employer wrongfully denied you.
What Does California Law Say About Meal & Rest Breaks?
Under California law, eligible employees who work more than five hours in any given work day must be given a 30-minute meal break. For those who go on to work more than 10 hours in their work day, an additional 30-minute meal break must be provided.
California law also provides rest breaks for eligible employees. These rest breaks are required to be at least 10 minutes for approximately every four hours that are worked. These rest breaks are considered as time worked and are counted as paid time. Such breaks should be about halfway through a shift as much as practicable. Employers do not have to provide paid rest breaks for workers who work less than three-and-a-half hours per day.
Which Employees Qualify for Meal & Rest Breaks?
In California, meal and rest breaks apply only to employees who are considered “non-exempt.” Exempt employees do not get these benefits. In general, exempt employees are those in management who earn salaries as opposed to an hourly wage. Also workers considered to be independent contractors do not qualify for paid meal and rest breaks.
In some instances, employers may label workers as independent contractors in order to avoid giving them rest and meal breaks. This is not lawful and they can be faced with legal action for doing so.
More About Meal & Rest Breaks
It is important to remember that your employer cannot ask you to do any type of work or be “on-call” during meal or rest periods. Doing so equates to a denial of your legal employment rights. However, if you freely volunteer your services during these breaks, your employer also cannot be held responsible for the loss of your break time.
Potential Compensation in Claims Against Employers
If you bring a successful claim against an employer for denying you required meal or rest breaks, your employer may be penalized by owing you one additional hour of pay for every break that you were denied. For example, if you were denied breaks for 100 days of employment, the damages owed you would be 100 hours reimbursement at your normal pay rate for those workdays.
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