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Failure to Allow Breaks: Wage and Hour Laws

By Gregory Thyberg on April 16, 2018


Working late at night in the officeEmployees need strong advocates who will make sure their rights and protections are not violated in any way. That’s where the Sacramento, CA attorneys of ThybergLaw can help. A skilled wage and hour lawyer from our film can help employees who have had to endure poor work conditions or illegal practices on the part of their employer.

The attorneys of ThybergLaw would like to consider the importance of breaks and meals during work. These are sometimes ignored by places of business, to the detriment of employees and the people they serve. Let’s look at the California state statutes regarding breaks and meals on the job and what your legal options are if these rights have been violated.

Defining Breaks and Meals

In simple terms, a break is a period of time that an employee is not working and given an opportunity to rest. A meal refers to the opportunity for the employee to have some food and not have to perform their work duties. California has specific guidelines when it comes to breaks and meals at the workplace, which are broken down below.

California State Law Regarding Breaks

An employee working 4 hours in a shift is entitled to a 10-minute break period, allowing them to rest. This 10-minute break must be paid. For every 4 hours of work, the employee is entitled to a 10-minute on-the-clock break.

California State Laws Regarding Meals

Meals are given to employees who work for more than 5 hours in a shift. They will be entitled to a 30-minute meal break, though this meal break will be unpaid. If an employee has an especially long shift of more than 10 hours, they are entitled to another 30-minute unpaid meal break.

Potential Violations of Laws for Breaks and Meals

Even though these break and meal laws are straightforward, there are times when employers discourage their employees from taking their mandatory breaks. Employees may be given too much work to do for their allotted shift, forcing them to forego their break time, even a simple 10-minute break.

Some employers may brazenly ignore these state laws on breaks and meals and impose their own rules regarding breaks and meals. These rules may subject the employee to an undue amount of work before they receive a rest period. Additionally, some employers may force employees to clock out for a simple 10-minute break, cutting time that the employee should be on the clock.

What Employers Owe for Missed Breaks and Meals

For any missed breaks or missed meals, employers owe their employees an hour’s pay at their current wage. With repeated missed breaks or meals, these numbers can add up.

How Our Lawyers Can Help

If your employers subjected you to long hours without breaks or meals, you are entitled to unpaid wages for these missed periods of rest. Our attorneys can help you hold your employer accountable for these and other actions that impacted you while on the job.

Learn More About Your Legal Options

For more information about your legal protections as an employee and how our lawyers can help you, be sure to contact the attorneys of ThybergLaw. We will go over all of your legal options and help you make sound legal decisions every step of the way.

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