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August 3, 2017

California Law on Lunch Breaks: Is Your Employer Violating Lunch Break Laws

In California, you are not allowed to employ somebody for a work duration of over five hours without giving them an unpaid, off-duty meal duration of no less than thirty minutes. The initial meal period must be given no later than at the end of the worker’s fifth hour at work. This leads us to the question that has generated a lot of debate; is your employer violating lunch break laws? Read further for a detailed insight;

The employer satisfies its legitimate commitment to give an off-duty meal duration to its workers in the event that it:

  • Relieves its workers of all duty.
  • Surrenders control over their actions.
  • Allows them a fair opportunity to take a continuous, 30-minute break.
  • Does not discourage or hamper them from doing so.

A meal break will be unpaid only on the condition that every one of the above factors is met.

In a situation where a work time of not over 6 hours will complete the day’s work, the employer and employee might decide to waive the meal period by mutual consent.

California employers go through costly outcomes for breaching work break laws. The decision of the Courts has raised the prospects of substantial monetary fines.

Missed Meal Break

For every work day that you refuse to give a worker a meal period, as mandatory, you owe the worker one extra hour of pay calculated at the worker’s standard rate. The extra hour of pay is considered a wage owed to the worker. This permits workers up to 3 years to make a claim for unpaid earnings.

Missed Rest Break

In the event that either rest break is denied or interrupted, the employer owes the worker one hour of pay, which must be included in the next paycheck.

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