This press release discusses meal and rest breaks under the California state’s meal and rest break laws, looking at what employees and employers can and cannot do.
Beverly Hills, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/06/2019 -- One article stated the following with regards to California meal, and rest breaks, "The rule of thumb under California meal and rest break law is that employers must provide a paid rest break for every 4 hours of work and an unpaid meal break every 5 hours. Each rest break must be at least 10 minutes, and each meal break must be at least 30 minutes." This law applies to non-exempt workers who entitled to an uninterrupted meal and rest breaks.
Where an employer fails to comply with meal break law requirements, they are required to pay a fine for any violations they carry out. The penalty that the employer is required to pay for violating California meal break law is one hour's wage for each day a rest break was not given and an additional hour's wage for each day a meal break was not given. It is important to note that where an employer never provided meal breaks the California labor law empowers employees to collect a total of two days' worth of wages for every work day for the past three years that they did not receive meal or rest breaks.
Another critical factor to take into consideration is that meal breaks, that is 30-minute meal breaks taken for every 5 hours of work, must be uninterrupted and unpaid. In fact, it is generally required for employees to be permitted to go off-site for their meals. However, rest breaks that consist of at least ten uninterrupted minutes every 4 hours are paid for.
One Counsel One P. C. attorney stated the following, "One of the most common questions asked with regards to meal and rest breaks is: do I have to take them under the California labor law? The fact of the matter is California employees do not have to take their meal and rest break. Each employee may choose to keep working through their breaks. However, because rest breaks are paid for, there is no direct monetary benefit to skipping rest breaks as compared to unpaid meal breaks. Therefore, if an employee chooses to skip a meal break, he or she may get paid for more hours or can leave work earlier. Ultimately, the choice rests on the employee. At no point can an employer pressure workers to skip breaks whether this happens directly by asking the worker to skip their break or by imposing deadlines that are impossible to meet without the employee skipping their breaks."
As such, it is a rule under California break law that an employer gives employees a 'reasonable opportunity' to take meal and rest breaks during the working day. This is done whereby the employer relieves the employee of all their job duties, relinquishes control over what the employee does during their break time and does not impede or discourage the employee from taking a break.
It must be noted though that at larger companies and corporations, employers are cautious about avoiding penalties under California meal and rest break laws. As a result, in order to ensure that employees are given time for breaks the employer may configure the time clock software to possibly clock out workers for a 10-minute break every 4 hours and a 30-minute meal break any 5 hours. This is generally not illegal.
For more information on employment law lunch breaks and rest breaks contact a Counsel One P. C. attorney.
About Counsel One P. C.
Counsel One P. C. is a law firm of renowned professionals who specialize in employment law. For legal advice on unpaid overtime in California contact a lawyer from Counsel One P. C. today.
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