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California Meal Break & Rest Break Law (2019) – Quick Calculator + Charts

california meal break law, california rest break law

Under California meal break law (which is much more generous to employees than federal labor law), if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to a 30-minute uninterrupted, duty-free meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday.  You are also entitled to a 10-minute uninterrupted, duty-free rest breaks for every 4 hours you work (or “major fraction” thereof). If your boss doesn’t comply with break law requirements, they are required to pay you one extra hour of regular pay for each day on which a meal break violation occurred, and another extra hour of regular pay for each day on which a rest break violation occurred.

Meal Break & Rest Break Calculator

This meal break and rest break calculator will tell you how many meal and/or rest breaks you are entitled to under California labor law.

Start of Your Shift (e.g., "9:00 am"): End of Your Shift (e.g., "5:00 pm"):
(The page will refresh after you press "calculate". Scroll down to see results in blue text.)


California Rest Break Law Chart

Hours on the ClockRest Breaks
0 – 3:29 hrs0
3:30 – 6 hrs1
6:01 – 10 hrs2
10:01 – 14 hrs3
14:01 – 18 hrs4
18:01 – 22 hrs5

California Rest Break Requirements

  • Your boss must give you a rest break of at least 10 consecutive minutes that are uninterrupted.
  • Rest breaks must be paid.
  • If you work at least 3.5 hours in a day, you are entitled to one rest break. If you work over 6 hours, you are entitled to a second rest break. If you work over 10 hours, you are entitled to a third rest break.
  • Rest breaks must to the extent possible be in the middle of each work period. If you work 8 hours or so, you should have a separate rest break both before and after your meal break.
  • Your boss may not require you to remain on work premises during your rest breaks.
  • You cannot be required to work during any required rest breaks. [Cal. Lab. C. 226.7]. BUT, you are free to skip your rest breaks provided your boss isn’t encouraging or forcing you to.

California Meal Break Law Chart

Hours on the ClockMeal Breaks
0 – 5 hrs0
5:01 – 10 hrs1
10:01 – 15 hrs2
15:01 – 20 hrs3
20:01 –4

California Meal Break Law Requirements

  • If you work over 5 hours in a day, you are entitled to a meal break of at least 30 minutes that must start before the end of the fifth hour of your shift. BUT, you can agree with your boss to waive this meal period provided you do not work more than 6 hours in the workday. You can also agree with your boss to an on-duty meal break which counts as time worked and is paid.
  • If you work over 10 hours in a day, you are entitled to a second meal break of at least 30 minutes that must start before the end of the tenth hour of your shift. You can agree with your boss to waive the second meal break if you do not work more than 12 hours and you did not waive your first meal break.
  • You must be allowed to take your meal break off work premises and spend your break how you wish, since it is off the clock.
  • You cannot be required to work during any required meal break. [Cal. Lab. C. 512].
  • As of 2012, your boss has an affirmative obligation to ensure that breaks are made available to you but the actual taking of meal breaks is left to the employee. In other words, you are responsible for “breaking” yourself.

Note, rest breaks and meal breaks are supposed to be separate, they should not be combined. Your boss cannot give you a single 1-hour break and say that that counts as all of your meal breaks and rest breaks.

Keep in mind, there are many exceptions to the above for certain industries, such as the construction, healthcare, group home, motion picture, manufacturing, and baking industries.

Can I Sue My Employer for Violating California Meal Break and Rest Break Law?

Yes you can, and you should. If your employer is denying you meal breaks and rest breaks, you would be entitled to receive a penalty of 1 hour wages per day you were denied any rest breaks, and an additional penalty of 1 hour wages per day you were denied any meal breaks (for a maximum penalty of up to 2 hours wages per day). We can help you file a California labor board complaint. Give us a call at (213) 992-3299. Note, your claims are subject to strict filing deadlines. For meal and rest break violations, the filing deadline is usually considered to be 3 years thanks to a recent California Supreme Court decision. [Murphy v Kenneth Cole Productions, 40 Cal.4th 1094 (2007)], but in certain cases, a 1 year filing deadline could apply.

I Am an Exempt Salaried Worker, Can I Still Sue My Employer?

The correct answer is “it depends”. There are many kinds of exemptions under California labor laws. If you are a supervisor, you may fall under the supervisor exemption, otherwise known as the executive exemption. But that exemption has many requirements which your employer may have blown. Also, other kinds of exempt employees are still entitled to meal break and rest break rights. For instance, truck drivers are often considered exempt. However, under California labor laws, they must still receive their meal breaks and rest breaks. Another example are “inside salespeople” who sell products or services while physically stationed at the employer’s office. While normally considered “exempt”, they are still entitled to meal breaks and rest breaks. Again, consult a lawyer to see if your situation qualifies for breaks.

Call (213) 992-3299 and Get Your Labor Board Complaint Started Now

Feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299 if you want to discuss filing a labor board complaint. We have successfully obtained awards for our clients in over 97% of our trials and hearings — one of the best trial records in the State of California. Let us put our decades of legal experience to work for you.

Photo courtesy of cjmellows

2,537 Comments

  1. Laura on July 24, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    My employer has a machine where we have to punch in and out for breaks as well for our lunch and finally clock out at the end of the shift.
    Does this means that we aren’t getting paid for breaks we are only allow to take a 10 min break . we take 1 10min break than before our 5 hour we take a lunch and again 2 hours before the end of the shift we take our last break.

    • Joshua Petrie on August 11, 2019 at 2:58 am

      I think you’d have to do the math on your hours worked vs how much you were paid to see if there were discrepancies.

      Easy example: If the pay was $10/hr and you worked 8 hours per day (say 8:30a–5p w/ 30 min lunch) for 5 days that’s 40 hours, so you’d get $400 per week (before taxes). But if your check was 20 minutes short each day (or 7h 40m of pay), it would be $383.33 (7.66666667 hours * $10/hr * 5 days).

  2. Renee on July 24, 2019 at 8:50 am

    My spouse’s employer (small business uses an app to track time, however it automatically inputs meal and rest periods, regardless of whether they are taken. Often times, my spouse doesn’t have time to take a lunch and often he takes a short lunch, yet his “meal period” is still deducted from his time card. The employees do not have an opportunity to review and approve their time cards before he closes payroll in order to make any corrections to the meal period.

    Can he deduct the full 30 minute lunch even if none or part of it was taken?

    • Abigail on July 30, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      The calculator is incorrect and It is giving incorrect information.

      • Eugene Lee on July 30, 2019 at 12:49 pm

        Hi Abigail, it isn’t incorrect. I’ve tested it extensively. I’ve also had several people contact me saying it is incorrect, and in each case, I proved the calculator was correct. I’ve also litigated many cases using this calculator and won. So Why do you think the calculator is incorrect? I’d be interested to see an example if you can provide one.

        • Joshua Petrie on August 11, 2019 at 3:03 am

          I’m wondering if I’m scheduled for 12 hours if the 10th hour where my 2nd meal period should be is 10 hours after I first clocked in or 10.5 hours since taking a lunch is unpaid/off-the-clock?

          Ex:
          IN: 8:00 AM
          OUT: 1:00 PM (lunch after 5 hours)
          IN: 1:30 PM
          OUT: 6:00 or 6:30 PM (2nd meal after 5 more hours, or at 10 hours since first IN)?

  3. Helen on July 24, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Can you violate if u work more than 5 hrs after your lunch break

  4. Andrew on July 22, 2019 at 6:36 am

    Where I work my schedule has me from 0000-0830 or Midnight to 830AM. I am wondering if I am missing 30 minutes of pay. Normally I never clock out for lunch, which if I am correct that’s considered Paid lunch. With a paid lunch I am still on the clock and not able to leave my site. However, at this site I am the only one working and unable to leave, and if someone calls I have to respond. This means that my lunch should be a paid lunch. But my Manager has us here for the extra 30 minutes.
    I would like to know if this is correct?, or am i losing 30 minutes.?

  5. Alex on July 20, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Can an employer in California make you take a 2 hour lunch without because they’re changing store hours. Technically I wouldn’t be paid for those 2 hours.

    • Alex on July 26, 2019 at 10:29 pm

      You’re not required to take more than a 30 minute lunch. If you take over 60 minute lunch, it’s considered split shift and you get an extra hour of pay.

      • Joshua Petrie on August 11, 2019 at 3:23 am

        If you make more than 1.1667 times the minimum wage in your area* you are ineligible for split shift premium pay.

        (* “The split shift premium is one hour at the state minimum wage, or the local minimum wage if there is one, whichever is greater.”)

        https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Split_Shift.htm

  6. ANA LOPEZ on July 19, 2019 at 9:21 am

    I work 8 to 9 hr a day I. I take lunch by the 6th hour is this correct ?

    • Ethan on July 19, 2019 at 3:31 pm

      “You are entitled to a meal break of at least 30 minutes that must start before the end of the fifth hour of your shift.”

  7. ANA LOPEZ on July 19, 2019 at 9:19 am

    I have a Question I worked 6.55 hrs and for got to take a lunch can my manager input my lunch with out me knowing ?

    • Ethan on July 19, 2019 at 3:32 pm

      No you need to approve changes to your time card.

      • Jose Garcia on July 20, 2019 at 9:50 am

        I work 6am to 5pm on Saturdays. Our boss always complains that we have to go before our fifth hour begins. So compensate first lunch of the day is at 9 am. Just 3 hours into my shift. Can my employer force me to go so early into my shift?

        • Maria on July 25, 2019 at 6:13 am

          My experience is that lucnh breaks have to be taken after the 3rd hour but before the 5th hour is up.

  8. Jagdeep on July 12, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Hello everyone. My employer moved to a new place and here he dosent provide us drinking water in this hot summer and he dosent have a break room either. Today he forced me to go out of the warehouse to take my break because they went for lunch and locked the warehouse. I work from 8am to 5pm and he give us one hour unpaid break from 12-1pm. We asked him to cut it short by half an hour but he dosent listen. He also dosent give us 10 minutes rest break everyday. I need help to find out if he is complied by law to give us drinking water and break room. And is it up to us to cut our lunch break short for half an hour.

    • Anna Smith on July 23, 2019 at 10:05 am

      Your employer MUST provide drinking water. That is an OSHA requirement. You are to have a 10 minute paid rest break for every 4 hours worked. So if you work 8am to 5pm you are to have two 10 minute breaks, on the clock. My job has the same work hours and my guys work in the warehouse/outside in the hot summer, and we are constantly making sure that they are drinking water to battle heat illness and that they take rest breaks so that they do not overwork their bodies. Please look at the DIR (Department of Industrial Relations) website and you can use the search bar to find the answers you need. Pull from the website and show it to your boss, you can also file a complaint if he does not comply.

      Here is what pulled from the DIR website:

      T8CCR 3395(c) states the following:

      Provision of water. Employees shall have access to potable drinking water meeting the requirements of Sections 1524, 3363, and 3457, as applicable, including but not limited to the requirements that it be fresh, pure, suitably cool, and provided to employees free of charge. The water shall be located as close as practicable to the areas where employees are working. Where drinking water is not plumbed or otherwise continuously supplied, it shall be provided in sufficient quantity at the beginning of the work shift to provide one quart per employee per hour for drinking for the entire shift. Employers may begin the shift with smaller quantities of water if they have effective procedures for replenishment during the shift as needed to allow employees to drink one quart or more per hour. The frequent drinking of water, as described in subsection (h)(1)(C), shall be encouraged.

      This part talks about rest periods, it’s a much bigger portion but the last sentence talks about provisions of a break room:

      The rest period is defined as a “net” ten minutes, which means that the rest period begins when the employee reaches an area away from the work area that is appropriate for rest. Employers are required to provide suitable resting facilities that shall be available for employees during working hours in an area separate from the toilet rooms.

      Good luck!

  9. Simba on July 3, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    All of this crap is why companies are leaving California. The labor laws are ridiculous for mom and pops. If you don’t like how you are being treated, QUIT. There are plenty of other opportunities out there, especially at the minimum wage level. The people that get suckered into class action law suits only benefit the lawyers and pay very little out to the people that sign the complaint. If a company gets a reputation for being garbage to work for, that should be enough for them to either have to step it up, pay more or ultimately go out of business. Government intervention just creates more regulations and laws that are detrimental to running an actual business that must be profitable. The government does not have to run profitable. They are not the folks you want regulating the private sector. Lawyers will ALWAYS go for higher regulation. Its good for business!

    • Equalizer on July 5, 2019 at 11:31 pm

      These laws are made because of slime balls like yourself. Complaining about things that you can’t control is a waste of time. Laws are there because employers will take advantage of employees especially in mom and pops. Get it together buddy

    • Ella Snapped on July 7, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      if you dont like obeying one simple law that solely exists to ensure human beings are allowed to sit for ten minutes, or stop working for 30 fucking minutes to eat something, then QUIT.

      you are not obligated to be an employer. no one is forcing you to run a business. just work for someone else if not exploiting people is so damn hard.

      like if you really cant make a profit without letting your employees take a goddamn piss break then you are absolutely shit at what you do and need to quit. i heard somewhere there are plenty of opportunities at the minimum wage level, economists disagree, but still that might be worth a shot for you (: good luck

    • Erik on July 8, 2019 at 1:37 am

      Oh is that why I worked without breaks for 5 years serving… Got a class action settlement while still working there for the 5000 I was owed and the lawyers did their due diligence. F a corporation and if you don’t believe in workers rights you belong where they do.

  10. Dee on June 29, 2019 at 6:46 pm

    I wonder..i know someone that works in a convienent store and when aline in the store for 8 hours ..is not allowed a 30 min lunch break..is this legal??

  11. Anonymous on June 25, 2019 at 3:32 pm

    We work 10 hour shifts starting at 6:00 am. We are told that we must take a meal break by 11:00. We also have a 10 min break in the middle, and also a 10 min break splitting the afternoon. We would much rather eat at 12:00 but are told that the law states we must start our lunch by 10:59 am. Can we vote to change it to 12:00. The day seems to drag on with this schedule.

  12. Sofia Lopez on June 25, 2019 at 10:02 am

    If I work for a day in an even for six hours and get paid, I’m I entitled to breaks?

    • Anthony B Sorto on June 27, 2019 at 12:55 pm

      1 paid 10-minute uninterrupted rest breaks and 0 unpaid 30-minute uninterrupted meal breaks.

  13. r on June 24, 2019 at 1:31 am

    I clock into work at 7:00am and Clock out 1:30pm, I don’t take any 10 minute breaks, don’t take any 30 minute lunches. My bosses say since it’s a business of 25 or less its legal. We are a small coffee shop, and whenever were asked by customers if were associated with the main company in another city, my bosses have said yes.. They are more than 25 employee’s, so if we’re associated that means we do have more than 25 employees technically. also, they pay the minimum of $12 an hour, wouldn’t the need to pay the wage of $13.25 in ca if it is more than 25 employee’s? I dont know what to do? can someone please email me so I can further explain the situation @ [email protected]

    • Joshua Petrie on August 11, 2019 at 9:57 am

      I know this comment was a couple months ago, but I went ahead and emailed you, just in case no one else had. I hope it helps!

  14. Manie Ferrer on June 21, 2019 at 12:30 am

    My boss told me today that there’s a new break law. If 18 year old and older and work only 4 to 5 hours a day there’s no 10 minutes break. I work at KFC. Is this possible? Does KFC can implement their own break rule?

    • Rose on June 24, 2019 at 1:19 am

      No that’s against the law, you must be provided your 10 minute paid break. You can waive your lunch break with a waiver that must be provided by your employer, but thats only if you’re schedule a maximum of 5 hours, no more.

      For the breaks
      ex: if you’re scheduled for a 4 hour shift you must receive your 10 min paid break at your second hour and then must clock out once you’ve hit your 4th or else you have to take a lunch.

      5 hour shift: your must take your paid 10 min break after your second hour, and then again your second 10 min paid break after the 4th hour then clock out once you hit 5 Hours. its the law.

    • James on July 13, 2019 at 8:58 am

      I work in a convenience store and I work alone during most of my day and my boss tells me that I am not allowed to close the doors/deny entry while I attempt to take my break. We have less than 25 employees and most of us have to work alone often so I don’t know if it is legal for him to ask me not to do this.

  15. Paul on June 20, 2019 at 11:44 am

    I work a 10hr 4 day shift – when should I be taking a meal break and how many?

  16. Fernando on June 20, 2019 at 9:09 am

    If I work from 8:00am to 5:00pm and took my 1 hour lunch break. How many total hours should i get paid in a day? If i am entitled to: 2 paid 10-minute uninterrupted rest breaks and 1 unpaid 30-minute uninterrupted meal breaks.

    • jason on July 12, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      8 hours: 8 to 5 is 9 hours total, and you deduct one hour for your lunch break. 9 – 1 = 8

  17. Brian on June 18, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    I work in a retail. My employer is now mandating a lunch break on shifts as short as 4.5 hours. When I asked my manager about getting the form to waive lunches for these shifts and other shifts under 6 hours he said I can’t waive them because our company is exceeding California law expectations by giving us a lunch on such short shifts so we can’t waive our lunch and lunch is therefore mandatory. To me this is a blatant attempt to skirt the law in order to cut payroll. do I have any recourse here?

  18. Jose on June 15, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Hi, I work in a bar and haven’t been given a single meal break since I started working there. I normally work over 6 hours and have had more than a handful of shifts over 8. I have never once been told by a manager to take a break and the way the schedule is set up I’m so busy that if I took a break they wouldn’t have anyone to pick up the slack. A new hire told me that upon signing his paper work the management had him sign something pertaining to waiving his meal breaks, however I do not remembering singing anything like this. I’m wondering even if I did sign said paper work, if it is within my rights to still receive a break, and if the bar is wrong for not scheduling enough people to handle the workload.

    • Lauren on June 22, 2019 at 10:13 pm

      Can I rest for 30 mins unpaid if no other manager is in the building but keep earpiece on and come in if needed.. I can’t leave the premises if I’m only manager on duty. My manager says if I don’t clock out I can’t rest.

    • Candace on July 11, 2019 at 1:46 am

      You waive your meal break (if you signed the paper) and they do not have to give you one, however, this does not mean they can keep you from having your 10 minute break. Those are two separate break periods. Yes the bar is wrong for not scheduling enough people to handle the workload.

  19. Vivian on June 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

    I work in a high school kitchen from 7:30 – 1:00. We started the week off with 15 minute breaks at 9:30 – 9:45. Our lunch would be at 12:15 – 12:45 after we finish serving students. The boss switched our break and lunch times on the last day of the week and it is to remain that way until the summer session is over. Can she do that? It doesn’t make sense to take a lunch before a break.

  20. Annonymous on June 14, 2019 at 9:04 am

    I have a question. I work from home 5am-4pm . We used to have 2 15 breaks , and one 10 and and hour lunch. Now we have 2 15 min and an hour lunch. Also my lunches since February have gotten later… 1015am, all the way until 11am. This doesnt seem legal, as it is after 5 hours. Whst do I do?

    • rose on June 24, 2019 at 1:22 am

      you must take your lunch no later than your 5th hour or its a violation.

  21. Jane on June 13, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    We have in house non-exempt sales people. When they are on their 30 minute meal break they want to be interrupted as to not lose the sale. Is it legal for them to clock back in for the sale and clock back out for their meal break? Alternatively, can we legally interrupt them without penalty?

  22. Mikki on June 13, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    If I work from 7:30am to 4pm can my employer make me take my lunch by 11am or 11:30am that is quite early for me I was going at 12:15 before. I am just wondering because it seems like now I am spending my days hungry.

  23. Brie on June 13, 2019 at 1:06 am

    Is my employer able to force me to take my unpaid meal break immediately after clocking in? i.e. I’m scheduled from from 9 am to 5 pm- I’m expected to clock in at 9 a.m. “organize my work station” and clock out for my meal break at 9:01 a.m. come back to work at 9:31 a.m. and work the rest of my shift without a break.

    • Natalie on July 4, 2019 at 8:28 am

      Hello my name is Natalie and I work at a restaurant. It’s is every once in a blue moon I get my breaks. I work an average of 7 hours. When I work 7 hours I only get a 30 minute break. In my two months of working, even working 8 hours I have never gotten any rest breaks only our lunch breaks. Is this legal? Also we must be told by our boss to go on break and I have asked and they said a break would be inefficient.

  24. Maria on June 12, 2019 at 10:59 am

    Hello, I am county secretary and work in a high paced, high profile executive office. I work a 9 hour work day, am I obligated to take a 30 minute lunch or can I choose to take a 15 minute “working lunch”?

  25. Sally on June 7, 2019 at 2:13 pm

    Is there any restriction on how soon the 10 minute break can be given after lunch? I work from 7:30-4:30, and get my lunch break from 1-2. I am being given my 10 minute rest break at 2:20. That seems really soon.

    • X on June 11, 2019 at 4:59 pm

      if you start work at 7:30am, the LATEST you can start your lunch is 12:30pm. so already that’s a misfire. In regards to 10’s, you should be able to take them whenever as long as they’re not directly following or before your lunch. you get 2 10’s, btw.

  26. COURTNEY on June 6, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    Hello, I have questions regarding the meal penalty violation. I start at 6:00am and end shift at 2:30pm. pretty much everyday I take lunch around 11:30am or later. My supervisor has told me I have to wait until my coworker is back from lunch so that there is always staff in the office. And I have reported this to the HR as well. I noticed on my timeclock when I clock out for lunch late, it says :*bonus applied*. Then later that message is gone. And on my paychecks I was not paid for the extra hour. I am planning to type up all the dates of lates punches and email them to HR. Is this a valid complaint to sue? And what forms do I need to fill out if my employer refuses? thank you

    • X on June 11, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      From what you just mentioned, you’re actually required to take your break before 11am because that would be your 5th hour of work.

    • Grace Brown on June 12, 2019 at 2:30 pm

      Courtney, what was the answer to your question. I have the same question and cant find the answer. If you find out please tell me …. [email protected]

  27. Tracy Mitchell on June 6, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    So when I start work at 6am and end at 4:30pm and I get two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch, is that being compliant to the labor laws? I only ask as a lot of my coworkers and I have been working these hours since August 2018 and we were told to take three 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch and 10 months later we are now being told to only take 2- 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch. I’m very confused now since it’s been 10 months of working these hours and now we are having the 3rd break being taken away. Thank you

    • Wesley on June 8, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      Is it legall for your employer to make you take a 30 right after the start of your shift as in clock in the clock out to take your thirty

      • Joseph on June 15, 2019 at 4:48 pm

        No you have to work at least 2 hours before you cam take a lunch. Well let me rephrase. You don’t HAVE to but if you clock out before 2 hrs your employer still had to pay you for 2 hours.

        • Jennifer on July 8, 2019 at 6:09 am

          Can you elaborate. This is the same issue I’m having. I’m working 6-8 hour shifts and being sent on a lunch 60-90 minutes after I begin my shift. Which then let’s me take 1-2 ten minute rest breaks in the remaining 5-7 hours of my shift. Doesn’t seem right. And when I asked my employer (a major coffee company) they told me basically to do it because he said so and he is now incredibly rude every time we work

          • Candace on July 11, 2019 at 1:58 am

            Not sure of the timing issue, although, I believe you are supposed to work at least two full hours before taking your lunch. The flip side is you file a complaint of ‘hostile work environment’ with HR due t his attitude and how he speaks to you.

  28. Cari on June 6, 2019 at 8:41 am

    I’m a in-home healthcare nurse. I work 8 hour shifts without any relief. How does my employer avoid paying extra for this type of practice? I am assuming they have a legal work around.

    • Candace on July 11, 2019 at 2:01 am

      You may be classified as an exempt employee, but you need to check into that.

  29. Randy Rodgers on June 4, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    Is there a requirement to when a break time can change. For example a normal shift is 12p to 9p with a 1hr off the clock meal break at 3p. This time can be changed depending on the days assignments. However can they change my break a half hour before i’m scheduled to take it?

  30. joy on June 4, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    I work from 6:30am to 3:30 pm. I do get a half an hour PAID lunch break but, I don’t get 2 rest breaks. I this a violation?

    • X on June 11, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      yes. you should get two 10’s.

  31. Jennifer Pizano on June 4, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    can an employer write up up for going over 5th hour for lunch working 6 hours that day and using vacation time to cover the remaining hours to make it 8 hours total? I clocked in at 5am and left at 10:15am, I went over by 15 mins on my lunch however, I worked less than 6 hours so I couldve just signed a meal waiver. My boss did payroll and used vacation hours to cover the rest of my time that day which i agreed to without thinking anything of it. I get called into HR and had to sign a write up for going over my 5th hour but i was not physically working 8 hours, i only worked 5.25 hours and left for the day and used up vacation hours to cover the rest of the day so i am not short on my check. is that something that can happen? are they within their rights to give me a write up for this?

    • Blanca Leyva on June 5, 2019 at 10:22 am

      If I work 9 pm till 9am no stop that consider over time? They say no is over time till next day if we work again. They sa 9pm till 12am is 3 hours and 12 to 9 is and other day

      • X on June 11, 2019 at 5:07 pm

        naw, your job is trying to screw you over! you should get two lunch breaks (30 minimum) and three 10’s. after 8 hours they should be paying you a time and a half of your hourly rate. after ten hours, they should be paying you double the hourly rate.

        • Candace on July 11, 2019 at 2:07 am

          Again that can be altered by classification on the double -time. But yes they are cheating you

  32. Jennifer Pizano on June 4, 2019 at 11:58 am

    Hello, I have a question, I started work at 5am and left work for my sons graduation at 10:15 am. I went over the 5th hour, however since its under 6 hours worked, I could sign a meal waiver. When it was time to do payroll, my boss asked me if I wanted to use sick or vacation time to cover the rest of the day to have my 8 hours vs just the 5.25 hours worked and I agreed to use my vacation hours. My question is, since opted to use my vacation hours to complete 8 hours, am I in violation for the 5th hour rule? I got a write up for going over my 5th hour and wanted to know if by me using my vacation time to cover rest of the day off is within their right to give a write up or would just not using any vacation time or sick time be best to do going forward?

    • X on June 11, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      They should not have written you up bc you worked less than 6 hours and opted out of your lunch! in regards to the vacation time, i think they just wanted to see whether or not you wanted to be paid the regular amount you are paid on a shift, in case you needed your paycheck to be about the same amount as your others. however you absolutely don’t have to use vacation time just to do that.

  33. Victor Boyadzhyan on June 3, 2019 at 3:42 pm

    An exampt employee on 9/80 by-weekly schedule… can he/she choose to take a half an hour lunch break instead of 1 hour. I am looking California labor law that regulates that.

  34. joe on June 3, 2019 at 11:48 am

    my company makes us sign a break waver to not take a break EVERYDAY but we still can but its looks down on if we do. is this ok? And we must sign this form everyday.

    • X on June 11, 2019 at 5:16 pm

      you should only have to sign one waiver the whole time of your employment at that job. yes you are still allowed to have a lunch if you want to. if they complain, or at worst fire you, you have the law on your side.

      • Kim on June 21, 2019 at 9:58 pm

        Can an employee who works 7 hours as an administrative assistant chose to waive their lunch if they don’t want to take one everyday? Can they choose to work through their lunch at their work station?

  35. Brenda ponce on June 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I started at 7:30am and I have to take my lunch at 1pm is that a violation

    • Eugene Lee on June 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, if you didn’t do that voluntarily.

  36. maria on May 31, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    i work in the office and my boss is very strict with time and I am not sure if his reasoning is valid.

    He wants me to work 8 hours shift for the same time every day by the dot. if i choose not to be consistent by a little i get in trouble

    example
    my shift is 7:30 to 4 pm, if I start 7:45 and leave 4:15, thats late i get in trouble.

    if i start earlier, i then clock out early, 7:15 to 3:45, i get in trouble.

    the lunch break however, i only get a min/max of 30 minutes unpaid, and i opted not to use my 2 10 minute break

    i once took 15 mins (unpaid) more time for my lunch, i got in trouble for being late.

    my nature of work is in the office, which i dont get the point to have to be strict on that aspect as long as you meet the daily 8 hour shift and take a break.

    does my boss has a reason to be strict about it ? is there a thing called clocking back in late for lunch when you work in an office setting?

    • Melanie on June 2, 2019 at 5:34 pm

      Maria – your boss is well within their right to be restrictive on the work hours. The boss can dictate the exact start time of work, the exact end time of work, and more. They are only required to offer a 30-minute lunch break if that is their choice. You should take your 2 breaks though…this is paid time, so you might as well take advantage of it. Even though you don’t get the point of the strict time lines is irrelevant. And yes – if the boss allows only 30 minutes for lunch and you clocked in 15-minutes late, then that is a ‘thing’. Failure to follow workplace timelines is considered insubordination and could potentially be grounds for termination.

  37. Carlos on May 31, 2019 at 8:41 pm

    Do my employer have to provide rest areas , like to eat or rest during my 30 break or it’s illegal to send to the park that it’s 5 minutes walking distance ???

    • Melanie on June 2, 2019 at 5:36 pm

      Carlos – the employer does not have to provide rest/break/lunch areas. They are only required to provide you with the rest/break/lunch time. It is up to you to choose how and where you spend that time. If you go to the park – that’s fine – but your 5 minute travel time is part of your rest/break/lunch time.

  38. M on May 31, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    If I worked for example from 8:00AM to 7:00PM with no breaks in between, on top of my 11-hours worked should be 1 hour meal penalty and 1 hour rest break penalty. It means that I should get paid with 13 hours on that day. Correct?

    • Mia on June 3, 2019 at 11:22 pm

      I worked a 7 hour shift today and only got a 30 minute unpaid break, is this legal? I’ve never experienced this before and I’m not sure what to do or how to bring this up to management because 30 minutes is not enough for a 7 hour shift and I’m in complete pain by the end of my shift

  39. Bonnie Hammond on May 29, 2019 at 5:01 pm

    is it legal for them to push you out to lunch 3 hurs after you get to work if you are working 8 hour shifts? im always starving by the end of the 8 hours, I have ask several times to be the last to go to luch and will sign paper so they are not penalized for late lunch , it was my choice. but im being pushed out to lunch at 3 hours.

    • Melanie on June 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      Bonnie – they can send you to lunch after you have worked only 3 hours. They are required by law to send you to lunch before the end of the 5th hour of work. They can send you early, but not later. Even if you sign a paper – they must send you prior to the end of the 5th hour unless there is some special circumstance on a particular day. On an 8 hour shift, you would get a 30-minute lunch and 2 breaks. It is recommended (but not required) that the breaks be given before and after the lunch break.

      • Sarah on June 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm

        I just had a consultation with a lawyer earlier and I was advised that if employees would like to take their lunch after the 5th hour we can have a form signed that they are refusing to take the lunch within the 5th hour and we do not have to pay the pay penalty. Is that accurate?

  40. Sarah Prieb on May 26, 2019 at 7:33 am

    I am never given the opportunity to take a break at work as no one else in the building is able to do my job. I am told to clock in and out and the will adjust my time card. Is that legal? No they want everyone to sign something that says we will manage our own timecards and that we need to break ourselves instead of being provided a time to take a break. Are they allowed to drop that under the law?

  41. Edward on May 26, 2019 at 6:02 am

    I have worked for a company for 13 years in California, and for the first few years I worked 10 hours a day, and wasn’t given lunch till 7 the hour of the day and just about a month ago they finally changed it. Am I still entitled to all that back pay for the 13 years?

    • Been there, won that :) on May 29, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      Yes you most certainly are entitled to that back pay. However you would have to have indisputable evidence that backs up your claim. The labor board is so overwhelmed with claims that you need to have a simple, rock solid case in order to better improve the odds of having your case heard to start with. Plus. Do have think about possible negative impact in may have at your job. Even though they cant retaliate, doesnt mean they wont be mean about it.

    • Donna on June 2, 2019 at 8:19 am

      I just read the filing time limit is 1-3 years, depending on the type of job

    • Melanie on June 2, 2019 at 5:40 pm

      Edward – you are very likely beyond the statute of limitation to file a claim.

  42. Chris on May 23, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Does your break start when you leave the area you work or when you get to the break room?

  43. Kelly on May 23, 2019 at 8:56 am

    Our group is non-expempt and we start our shift at 7:00 AM. We float a meal break between 11:30 and 12:30 depending on the cafeteria rush. We have signed a waiver agreement to waive the second meal that allows us to work until 7 pm without having to stop for a second meal break. Recently, we’ve been allowed to extend our shift (volunterarily) to 8 PM if desired. So my question is:
    If we take the first meal break and waive the second meal break, can we work past 7:30 pm without be required to take a second meal break? I Suspect the answer is no. Even if we moved the 1st meal break from 1 pm to 1:30, our 2nd “6hr” without a meal break would expire at 7:30 PM. Yes? No?
    Thanks!

  44. Dalton on May 22, 2019 at 5:03 pm

    Can my boss force me to take an hour unpaid meal break 5 hours into an 8 hour shift?

    • Melanie on June 2, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Dalton – the answer is yes – your boss can force you to take a one-hour unpaid meal break 5 hours into an 8 hour shift. The meal break must be 30-minutes minimum, but it can be an hour. The lunch break must start before the end of the 5th hour of work. (Example: work starts at 8am, lunch must start before 1pm).

      • B on June 3, 2019 at 2:27 pm

        I work in food and constantly they leave me by myself in the restaurant forcing me to take my breaks late. For example I work 7:30 am today till 3, and I just now was able to take my lunch break (first break) at 2…. is this illegal?

  45. Jeff on May 20, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    I work in the entertainment industry. We tent to combine out two fifteen minute brakes into out lunch because of the time tables we work on. I see that Motion Picture industry is called out in the article above, but does that extent to other areas of entertainment of just Motion Picture? If it does apply, do you happen to know the labor code?

  46. Colleen Bolsten on May 19, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    Can an employee make you take a one hour lunch as opposed to 30 min law requirement?

  47. Lizzy on May 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm

    regarding paid or unpaid meal break, where can I find the exceptions regarding healthcare settings? we can not leave the premises during meal break if we are the only nurse on duty. we may get called back to the floor and have to work during our meal break. I need the specific regulation regarding healthcare workers

  48. Tabitha Sandbeck on May 15, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    My manager never lets me takes breaks. And I recently found out I am being paid salary instead of hourly so they don’t think they owe me anything. I am not sure if that is even legal as well?

    • Melanie on June 2, 2019 at 5:44 pm

      Tabitha – if you are paid a salary, then that means that you are likely considered an exempt employee. This means you are exempt from many of the same laws that protect hourly workers. It is perfectly legal for employers to pay a salary rather than hourly pay. I’m curious how you didn’t know, however.

  49. Gj on May 14, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    How far or closed to the next break if I start work at 8:00 am then my lunch hour is 11:40 and end at 5:00 pm

  50. Tonya on May 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    If your managers force you to take your unpaid 30 minute meal break within the first hour of your 8 hour shift… is that legal?

    • Olivia on May 16, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      Yes, thats illegal! Your meal break should be taken between the 3rd and the 5th hour of your shift

      • Annonymous on June 5, 2019 at 1:25 pm

        Does California Labor Laws provide a waiver for meal breaks? I can’t take my meal breaks in between the 3rd and the 5th hour of my shift. I had baritric surgery, my eating pattern is not regular, I basically eat every 3-4 hours which does not work with the 3rd and 5th meal break regulations. This is an example of a regular day for me, I get to work at 7:30, eat breakfast at 9:30, eat lunch at 1pm. Since I clock in at 7:30 I should be taking my meal break at noon but I’m not hungry by then. I’m searching online to try to find something but I’m not suing the right verbiage, nothing pops up.

    • Angela on May 21, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      If I start work at 6am can I take at 11:45 and be compliant

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