Beverly Hills, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/31/2019 -- One article set its introduction stating the following, "California's work breaks and overtime laws regularly confused companies that do business in California." it is important for companies to understand the application to provide rest and meal periods to employees as this is critical to the operation of any business despite its size. Unfortunately, any mistake, be it innocent or inadvertent, will result in costly penalties. Such penalties may prove to be very costly and at a much higher rate than any wages that the company may already be paying.
One article stated with regards to common problems associated with companies doing business in California, "The crux of the problem involves understanding which employees must be relieved of all their duties prior to a work break and what that entails, and which employees are entitled to overtime compensation for working in excess of 40 hours in a workweek." When companies face such issues, they are likely to be bombarded by numerous laws, case law, and regulations with regards to labor and employment law. However, if a company misclassifies a worker as being an independent contractor rather than an employee or an hourly worker as a salaried worker, they may find themselves owing these employees hundreds of hours of unpaid wages and unpaid overtime in California.
With regards to rest and meal breaks, California law requires employers to provide a paid 10-minute rest break to its employees. This 10-minute rest break relieves the employees of all their work-related duties and occurs when the employees have worked for more than three and a half hours. In addition, it is necessary that this break be "as far as practicable in the middle of a work shift, not at the beginning or end of the work period." It is important to note that even assigning the slightest or simplest task during an employee's rest period is not permitted. That 10-minute break also must be paid, and the employer is not required to record the rest period.
The same is true when it comes to meal breaks, and an employer may not interrupt a worker's meal period requiring them to perform some tasks. Meal breaks are a 30-minute meal period that happens every five hours; however, it does not have to be paid. Additionally, it should also fall in the middle of the worker's shift and must be recorded.
One article highlighted that "In Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., the California Supreme Court issued a ruling holding an employer responsible for paying wages to security guards when they were required to keep their pagers and radio phones on during rest and meal breaks. The court awarded the employees close to $90 million in statutory damages, interest, and penalties."
In accordance with the California law with regards to overtime, any hourly worker who works more than 8 hours a day or more than 40 hours in a workweek receives overtime compensation for the extra hours worked. Therefore, this means that 'the employee shall not be employed for more than 8 hours in any working day or more than 40 hours in any workweek; unless he or she receives one and a half times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked over the threshold'.
For legal advice and representation with regards to employment law in California contact Counsel One P.C.
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