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What Break Periods Am I Entitled To? (2018)

california meal breaks, california rest breaks, break lawsUnder California law (which is much more generous to employees than federal law), if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to meal and rest breaks: a 30-minute meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday, and 10 minutes breaks for every 4 hours you work (or “major fraction” thereof). There are other requirements though. If your boss doesn’t comply with break 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.

For the nitty gritties, see below:

Rest Breaks

  1. Your boss must give you a rest break of at least 10 consecutive minutes that are uninterrupted.
  2. Rest breaks must be paid.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Your boss may not require you to remain on work premises during your rest break.
  6. You cannot be required to work during any required rest break. [Cal. Lab. C. 226.7]. BUT, you are free to skip your rest break provided your boss isn’t encouraging or forcing you to.

Meal Breaks

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. You cannot be required to work during any required meal break. [Cal. Lab. C. 226.7].
  5. 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 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 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.

If your employer is violating your rights to meal and rest breaks, you should contact a lawyer right away as you may 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). 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.

Keep on taking those breaks!

Photo courtesy of cjmellows

2,102 Comments

  1. Mark Noel on August 15, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    So meal breaks must be taken if the employee works more then 5 hours.

    Is there restrictions on when in that 5 hour period the employee takes there meal break.
    Example: employees in my office work on average an 8 hour work day. In that 8 hour shift how early can they take there meal break and how late can they take there meal break.

    • Marcell on August 16, 2018 at 1:30 pm

      exactly my question as well. I would love to work straight eight with two ten min breaks.

      • Margaret on August 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm

        If you start work at 7:30 am you have to take your lunch before 12:30 Pm.

    • Katherine on August 17, 2018 at 12:42 pm

      5 hours from when they clock in (between 3 and 5 hours but BEFORE their sixth). First break is usually 2 hours from clock in (*for the day and from lunch). The eight hour day does not include the lunch period.
      For example, I clock in at 5am, take my break at 7. Lunch is at 10am. My last break is at 12:30pm and I go home at 1:30pm. The small breaks are 10-15 minutes long. Total 8.5 hours spent at work.

      IF theyre only working 6 hours then a lunch break is not required. Breaks are though… 🙂

  2. Melissa on August 14, 2018 at 8:45 pm

    I need clarification on the “end of the fifth hour” part. My understanding is that, after 5 hrs of work on an 8 hr shift, I cannot be assigned a lunch break. (My job requires that we are on the road a lot, and we are assigned a lunch depending on the day’s workload. My employer often does not give a lunch, but pays the appropriate penalty.) My employer said that it really means after 5hr and 59min, since “the first hour you work is the zero hour.” This doesn’t make sense to me. Five hours is five hours; if I have completed 5hrs of work, my fifth hour is complete. They are claiming that when my time card shows 5hr 30min, for example, my fourth hour is complete but not my fifth. Basically, we disagree on the fifth to sixth hour of work. Can you clarify?

    • Katherine on August 17, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      theres no such thing as a zero hour …..

      if you start at 12:00 am from 05:00 am it equals 5 hours. You get paid 5 hours. Your lunch is anywhere between your 3rd hour and 5th hour of work. Mainly BEFORE your sixth hour from clock in. If you are ONLY working 6 hours that day (or for a split shift) then you dont need to take a lunch.

  3. Evis Henriquez on August 14, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Hi there i have a question. I work an 8 hour shift but my employer gives me an hour lunch instead of 30 mins. Do i still get the 2 rest breaks by law? Or do I only get one?

    • David on August 15, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Your “breaks” are different than your “lunch break” so if you’re working 8 hours in a day, you get 1 break before lunch, lunch break, then 1 break after your lunch break.

  4. Dave on August 14, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    If a preschool teacher has a 6 hour shift and does not want to take time from her class how would this work? Starts at 6:45 am and is done at 12:45. If she takes a lunch then she would lose 1/2 hour of pay per day if she takes lunch during this time.

    • Katherine on August 17, 2018 at 12:46 pm

      No lunch break is needed if its only a 6 hour shift. BUT you have to clock out at the sixth hour.

  5. T. Mar on August 13, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    What can you do if the work standards cannot be met without working through breaks and/or lunch? In order to meet these standards most of the employees at my office eat at their desks while working during breaks and lunch. Not every day, but frequently.

    A manager recently told me that I am forbidden to work during lunch unless I am with a customer. I asked him why I was not allowed to do this when most all other workers in the office did it to get the work done.

    He said they did not tell him they were working on lunch and because I told him that I did it, he checked my computer and found it was true. I said it was probably true for most of the workers, and he should check all compiters and do something about the schedules so we would not have to work on lunch. He said this was not in his control.

    I did not mind working on lunch, but because now I am forbidden to do it, I cannot get the work done, so I am probably going to look for an opportunity elsewhere.

    • Eugene Lee on August 13, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      Well I would say your company has an issue – they are setting the workload so high that people cannot take their breaks. In a properly managed environment, employees should be able to get their work done AND get all of their breaks. In your case, since you have brought it to management’s attention, it is their responsibility to adjust your workload so you can take breaks. Since that didn’t happen (they just told you to take your breaks, but you started falling behind on workload), I’d say you have a strong claim for lunch break denial. You should consider filing a labor board complaint. If you want to discuss this, please feel free to call us at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to talk.

  6. Brian Kim on August 13, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    Hi,

    My mom (manager) consistently works 11 hours a day. She had no idea that she is entitled to have 2 meal break and 3 rest break. She just found out recently because company has sent a memo to all managers about break time law. Company is telling her that there is nothing wrong they did because she did not work 12 hours – so she is not entitled to have 3 rest break. Is this true? I saw other comments, and you said if she did not ask for it, company did not “deny” the break. The only reason why she did not ask or bring it up to them is because she just did not know and I feel they are taking advantage of her.

    It has been almost 10 years that she did not get those entitled break.

    • Eugene Lee on August 13, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      Brian, the company is required to notify employees of their break rights. This is usually accomplished by making employee manuals available that discuss break rights, hanging posters up on the wall that discuss break rights, minimum wage and safety, and telling employees about break rights at orientation and staff meetings. In your mom’s case, since it appears that didn’t happen, your mom would still be able to claim for denied breaks as the company failed their duty to inform her. Also, the third rest break is earned after 10 hours, NOT 12 hours. That is just plain wrong.

      Your mom should consider filing a labor board complaint immediately. We can assist her with that, she call us at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to discuss it with her.

  7. Charly on August 11, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    If I have an associate working 5 and 1/2 hours, do the get a break as well as a lunch?

    • Eugene Lee on August 12, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Yes. At 3.5 hours into the shift, they get the first rest break. After 6 hours, they earn a second rest break.

  8. Jason on August 11, 2018 at 10:04 am

    I have to work 5-hour shifts from 12:30pm – 5:30pm with a 30-minute unpaid meal break at 2:30pm – 3:00pm. Does my employer have to also provide me with a paid 10-minute break?

    • Eugene Lee on August 12, 2018 at 9:54 pm

      Yes, absolutely. Since you work a 4.5 hour shift, you are entitled to 1 paid rest break. If you aren’t getting it, you should bring it up with the employer and they should fix it. If they don’t, then you should consider filing a labor board complaint

  9. Chris on August 10, 2018 at 9:04 am

    What is the start of the time window for lunch breaks? I work from 7am to 2pm and I am regularly forced to take a “breakfast” 30m break at ~8am. I am not hungry because I already ate breakfast and I need to eat lunch at a normal lunch time because my job is physically strenuous. I have pushed the issue and been told that it doesn’t matter, they want my lunch taken care of and would rather push it out as soon as possible instead of at a reasonable time.

    • Anon on August 11, 2018 at 8:37 pm

      I work at a school as support staff & I choose to eat my lunch with students. I know I’m entitled to an uninterrupted lunch, however I choose to eat with students. One of the teachers has a problem & although she wants everyone to believe she’s advocating for me, she’s creating a hostile environment, saying that I’m being “abused” & that I’m weakening the contract by choosing to keep my relationship with students intact.

      • Eugene Lee on August 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm

        As long as you choose to spend your lunch break with the students, there is no violation of law. Your co-worker might be well-meaning, but you aren’t being “abused” if it’s your preference and choice.

  10. Allen J on August 9, 2018 at 7:33 am

    I work a regular schedule of 7:45-4:45. I am always alone until noon when the next person is scheduled. I cant take a rest period until then but usually take lunch that hour instead since the meal must be taken before the end of the 5th hour. Would this be considered a missed rest period or would I be expected to take a rest when the next person arrives then a lunch shortly after and consider that as breaks given? Thanks in advance!

  11. Sally on August 8, 2018 at 8:57 am

    I work 5:30am to 2:00pm, an 8 hour day with a 30 min. lunch. We use Kronos as a timecard to punch in and out. On occasion, my department schedules long MUST attend meetings during my lunch, usually from 10am to 1pm. Therefore, I either bring something to snack on during the meeting, or eat at my desk after the meeting while working. Our timecard system automatically deducts 30 minutes for lunch whether you take it or not and automatically gives you a 1 hour lunch penalty. My question is, do they still need to pay me for the 30 minute lunch since I did not clock out or even take a lunch even though I’m getting the 1 hour lunch penalty?

    • Eugene Lee on August 8, 2018 at 10:33 pm

      Sally, the answer is: yes. The 1 hour lunch penalty only addresses the fact that you missed your lunch break. They should NOT be deducting 30 minutes for lunch when you are in fact working – i.e., attending a company function. I would recommend you consider filing a labor board complaint. If you’d like to talk it over, please feel free give us a call at (213) 992-3299.

  12. Ian on August 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Eugene,
    I have a few issues with my employer regarding breaks, very late paychecks and them today adjusting my check by -3 hours less than my timecard shows. In the past year and a half I’ve only taken a 10 min break on maybe 5-10 days ever. Many days such as today I work 6-8 straight without taking a lunch or a break. Starting to get burned out… are they liable to pay me for every “10 minute break” I never got to take during the past year and a half??? I’m getting tired of they’re childish bullshit and am ok with requesting that $$$ from them as they are selling the business soon and I feel I am owed that. Am I right?? Thank you!!!! Any response is greatly appreciated. Ian

    • Eugene Lee on August 7, 2018 at 11:18 pm

      Ian, I think you’re generally correct, but the devil is always in the details. Did you ever ask for your breaks? Or complain or bring up to management that you weren’t getting your breaks? Or were managers the ones who were interrupting or cutting short your breaks? In general, if you were skipping breaks quietly without being told or forced to do so, then the employer didn’t “deny” you a break. However, if that wasn’t the case, then you would be owed 1 hour of “break premium” for each day your employer denied you a break.
      As for shorting you by 3 hours, that’s a no-brainer – that’s not legal. Of course, the key is proving it happened.
      Please give us a call to discuss the above. I’m proud to say I have a 97+% career win rate in trials and hearings over the past two decades. I’m sure we’ll be able to help you. Give us a call at (213) 992-3299.

  13. Ever on August 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    I work from 8-5 which is 9 hours I get a break of half an hour at 9:30 am and a lunch break at 12:30 PM until 1:10 PM so my doubt is should I bring up attention to my supervisor that we are at the end only getting paid 8 hours is this legal can a company get away with not paying you your lunch break because that is what is happening here they exclude the lunch hour can anyone give me some advice as to whether I should or should not be getting paid for 9 hours

    • Eugene Lee on August 7, 2018 at 11:23 pm

      Hi Ever, I think your employer is doing it correctly. Meal breaks are unpaid and off the clock in California. This is different from rest breaks which are paid and are on the clock. Since your shift was 9 hours, your employer is only required to give you 1 30-minute meal break, but it seems they’re giving you two of them. Since they are unpaid and off the clock, you are actually on the clock for only 8 hours, not 9 hours. So your employer would have to pay you for only 8 hours, not 9 hours. If that’s not clear, feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to answer your questions.

      • Ever on August 10, 2018 at 6:38 am

        I have another doubt I have been suspended of work before and each time I am suspended when I go back to work they make me leave a week behind as if I was starting new again is that legal I mean back 3 years ago when I started I left that week behind and now they suspended me a couple of times n when I got back they made me leave a week behind again no pay for the first week of work after suspending me is that how that works

        • Eugene Lee on August 10, 2018 at 11:44 pm

          I’m not sure what you mean by “leaving a week behind”. But please give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to talk it over with you.

  14. Anonymous on August 7, 2018 at 1:29 am

    I am a part time server in a restaurant. My shift is from 4:30-8:30 but sometimes if it’s not busy we can finish by 8:10-8:15ish. Other times we finish around 8:45. My employer has us take our 10 min rest break at the end of our shift and sign a paper that we took a 10 min break; (it doesn’t state the time, just that we took a 10min break). if we finish at 8:10 they say we aren’t required to take a 10 min rest break since we didn’t work 4 hours. If we finish at 8:45 we can take a 10 min rest in the break room and then clock out by 8:55. Is this legal? I thought the break had to be between shifts and not at the end.

    • Eugene Lee on August 7, 2018 at 11:29 pm

      None of that is legal. First, you get a rest break if you work a shift of 3.5 hours or more, NOT after 4 hours as your employer has stated. That comes right from the California Supreme Court in a case called Brinker v Sup.Ct. Second, the rest break is supposed to be in the middle of each shift to the extent practicable, not at the very end as your employer is doing. That defeats the entire point of a rest break – it is supposed to be a break from work, not a break at the end of work. Even though you are forced to sign that piece of paper saying you got your rest breaks, I think you still can file a labor board complaint for rest break denial. Please give us a call at (213) 992-3299 if you want to talk it over.

  15. Frank on August 6, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    Can i get this in Spanish

    • Eugene Lee on August 7, 2018 at 11:25 pm

      Frank, I can certainly try to have my staff do that for you. Can you give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and let us know where to send it?

  16. Anonymous hourly employee on August 2, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Can an employer force a 1 hour lunch? Being told to come in at 9, leave at 6, and take an hour lunch (off the clock) to result an 8 hour day. Is that allowed? I am thinking come at 9, 30min required lunch, leave at 6, and that’s a 8.5hour day so 0.5 hours of over time, right? Or leave at 5:30p for an 8 hour day. Please advise.

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 10:56 am

      Yes, your employer can require you to take an hour lunch. You are an hourly employee, which means you follow the lunch schedule provided by your employer. You are most likely scheduled the 9 hours for coverage purposes.

  17. Frustrated Wife on August 1, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    My spouse works 8.5 hour days and is often unable to take a meal break off the clock because other employees have to leave before he would return, or because they took their meal breaks too late for him to take his in time. He is a floor supervisor and keyholder at a retail store and they tell him that he needs to stay there during his breaks because associates can’t stay there alone; they must have a keyholder with them at the store. How can we report this? This is a small business (Mom & Pop) and I’m not looking to shut them down with legal action – I just want my husband to be able to take proper breaks and get paid correctly for his time worked or his unavailable breaks.

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:01 am

      I suggest your husband talk to his employer about this. He is legally entitled to a lunch and his breaks, unless he is excluded based on the owners wage order. The owners may actually not realize this, so I would have a sit down. It could be a win win situation if he helps them avoid any legal claims down the road.

  18. cynthia on August 1, 2018 at 9:43 am

    I work for a security company in Riverside CA we are not given no breaks or lunch breaks in 8hr shift sometimes 9hrs . They say to bring lunch to work and eat when we can but still be on post (we check cars out for a action company). but adding to that how are we going bring lunch if we dont even have no microwave including no AC we are sticked outside in the heat with no breaks and ac because it’s not working and they dont want to fix it . I keep saying this is very illegal but I just want to verify before taking my next step in getting a lawyer .

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:08 am

      All businesses are required to adhere to wage orders set by the Department of Labor. Your business has its own set of rules to be followed for lunch and breaks. Instead of contacting a lawyer, why don’t you ask human resources for a copy of their break and lunch policy, and explain you are not receiving your. Yes, you are legally entitled to take a lunch or be compensated for one. I’m sure you can find a lawyer to represent you but the mature thing to do is give your company a chance to fix this…be a leader for the rest of the employees.

  19. Mary on July 30, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    I don’t know who is monitoring this board but SOMETHING FOR NOTHING is clearly here to vent his/her own frustrations and adds nothing substantive to the conversation. Please remove their posts.

    • Eugene Lee on July 31, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Hello Mary, thank you for your comment. Although we do monitor comments and we do bleep out inappropriate language (i.e., cursing), we have a policy here of avoiding censoring comments as much as possible. We believe in the marketplace of ideas and that all ideas (good or bad) should be given a chance for consideration by the community-at-large. So far, people have been able to deal with occasional “troll” comments just fine. Of course, if a discussion crosses the line and becomes overheated, we will intervene. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened yet. Thank you again for your thought. We will continue to monitor and to re-evaluate whether this policy needs to be modified.

  20. Anonymous on July 30, 2018 at 10:59 am

    My employer makes me take my lunch after. 2 hours of being there. On. 8 hour day (I work 3 of these shifts) I have to go 6.5hrs with just a 10 min break. I believe that is illegal. Am I right.

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:13 am

      If you are scheduled to work an 8 hour shift you are entitled (based on your business’s specific wage order) to a break, a lunch and another break. It sounds like your employer is scheduling you around many other lunches to be had. Why don’t you talk to your supervisor about this? It’s always better to be professional over demanding.

  21. Cody Brown on July 27, 2018 at 9:34 am

    I have been working at seasonal job in Tahoe ca. I work six hours on a dock Daly five days week. In the first part of this season I was not getting paid for working 6 hours and not getting a lunch. It two about 2weeks to get my pay check and have no record of getting any meal penalty. I talk to my employer and he said I would be getting a half hour on my check. I don’t see any hours or half hour added. Unless he has been adding to my Actual hour and not as a meal penalty. Who can I talk to about this to get this looked at?

  22. Larry on July 25, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I work 8-5.
    We take a 10 min break after 2 hours, 60min break after 4 hours and 10min break after 6 hours.
    Some times we do not get our lunch break until 5 hours worked. So now my last break is 1 hour after my meal break.
    Is this legal?

  23. Rod on July 24, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    Associates come in to work at 6pm and are off at 4am. Some of the associates sneak around so their time card indicates 10 hours (even though they are not asked to work over) and then complain that they need a 3rd break. Can associates do this?

    Also, if they work 10 hours and waive their 2nd meal, can they come back and demand their 3rd 10 minute break and leave shortly afterwards?

  24. Ian on July 22, 2018 at 7:54 am

    I work at a movie theatre. I often work shifts such as 530-230am or later, then am required to come in the next day as early as 730am. Is this a split shift? Is it even legal without my written consent?

    • Andrew on July 25, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      I am not a lawyer.

      There doesn’t seem to be anything in the labor code about giving hours in between shifts. Your employer could ask you to work two 24-hour shifts back-to-back. Now, if you fall asleep on the job and cause some kind of accident, your employer can be held liable, so they generally won’t ask you to work that much, but they legally could.

      And no, they don’t need your consent.

  25. Med worker on July 20, 2018 at 11:23 am

    What are the differing rules for healthcare or where can I find them?

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Each business is subject to a wage order, specific to the type of duties being performed. The easiest thing may be to call the department of labor and ask a representative the specific question(s) you have. Wait time is not too bad and they will call you back, instead of having to wait on hold.

  26. Destiny Herrera on July 17, 2018 at 10:49 am

    Do breaks have anything to do with how many employees you have? Or does it apply to any employee?

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:16 am

      No, breaks are not determined by the amount of employees a business has. You are required, by law to receive a 10 minute break for every 4 hours you are scheduled. That means, an 8 hour shift would allow you a break, a lunch and another break. If you are not getting them, go see your manager or human resource person.

  27. Carol Matousek on July 12, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    My husband was asked recently to work his job for 11 1/2 hours each day for the summer months ( at least 4 months). He agreed , but was told he still gets only one 1/2 lunch break per shift . And they deduct 1/2 of time for that lunch break . But they deduct that 1/2 from his overtime hours not his regular hours . Is this legal for them to do that .?

    • Mark Mares on July 18, 2018 at 12:20 am

      It depends on what his time punches say.
      11 1/2 needs two lunches and 3 breaks. Second lunch can be waived but that’s if he and his boss agree.

      Let’s say he clocks in at 7 AM. that means he must punch his lunch no later than 11:59 AK. If his punch out for lunch is later, then that’s a violation and that’s an extra hour of pay at his regular rate.

  28. Maricela on July 11, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    I usually work 4pm to 930pm
    And only get to sit down and eat as soon as I’m done get back to work. No “actual” break.

    Or other days I work 11:30am-8:30pm
    And only get an hour break until 4pm

    Is that right?

  29. Bryan on July 6, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Good afternoon, my employer says that you are authorized to take a 15 minute break in The am and pm provided we have worked a substantial amount of time to warrant a break. Is this something i should talk to a lawyer about. Thanks

    • Something for nothing on July 13, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      Sounds right to me.

  30. Curious angel on July 5, 2018 at 12:24 am

    My usual shift is as follows…

    8-3pm (7hrs)

    Is it legal to receive my meal break at 9am (1 hr into my shift) & 10min break 1.5hrs later 1045am?
    (also employees are given 1 free meal on days worked)
    **mind you, no food is available until opening 10:30am**

    • Something for nothing on July 13, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Bring your own food ! Why is it someone else responsibility to feed you? Your a big girl!!!

      • angie on July 16, 2018 at 12:39 am

        It’s spelled “You’re a big girl” Not YOUR.

    • L m arnaiz on July 14, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Generally no earlier than 3 and no later than 5 hrs into your shift is a meal break given. You are entitled to 10 min breaks on the clock as well

      • Anonymous on July 30, 2018 at 5:56 pm

        I get my lunch 2 hrs into my shift. Before I even get a 10 min break. I then have to work another 6.5 hrs with just one 10 min break. I hate it and wish there was something o could do.

    • L m arnaiz on July 14, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      Generally no earlier than 3 and no later than 5 hrs into your shift is a meal break given. You are entitled to 10 min breaks on the clock as well

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:46 am

      That’s tough. You are working a total of 7 hours which means you are entitled to a lunch and one rest period. The Department of Labor has standards to meet, but they usually allow a business to create a schedule based on the business’s needs. I would talk to you manager and explain your concerns. Maybe you can “move up” in the food chain and get scheduled a better lunch as newer employees are hired.

  31. Heather Sullivan on July 3, 2018 at 9:29 am

    Our shifts are generally 5.75 in am and 6 hours mid shift and pm shift. If i work a mid shift 12 pm to 6pm and clock out for a 30 minute break can i work til 630pm to obtain my full 6 hours like the rest of the employees who just take a 10 minute break?

    • Angie on July 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      Heather, you should ask your company about a Meal Waiver Agreement. This will allow employees who work 5-6 hours to waive their meal period. The law states an employee is entitled to a 30 min unpaid meal period if 5 hours are worked. With the waiver, you wouldn’t have to clock out for a lunch, if you are ok with working 6 hrs. However, you are allowed a rest period within that 6 hours. Just a suggestion ??

    • Mark Mares on July 18, 2018 at 12:29 am

      Yes. But keep in mind you will need a second 10 minute break at 6:30.

  32. Celia on July 2, 2018 at 9:45 am

    My work requires that I travel on a mobile unit during my work day. I don’t get to take a 30 minute uninterrupted break, but my boss docks me for that time as if I did. I was told to be creative and stop for food on my way to work or on my way back to the office. I did just that and now I got written up for it and I was forced to sign a “Directive Memorandum” for having stopped to get some lunch. The places where I work do not always have a place to store my lunch or to heat my food, much less a place to eat or to walk away from my assignment. What am I suppose to do? My boss doesn’t even have a clue what it’s like to work in these conditions, but yet she can write me up for it.

    • David on July 27, 2018 at 10:45 am

      If your employer is violating your rights to meal and rest breaks, you should contact a lawyer right away as you may 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). 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.

  33. Alicia on July 1, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    I am not looking to get my place of employment in trouble nor is this question due to me feeling like I have not been treated fairly. I enjoying knowing the rules and begin fully informed and cannot find information regarding meal breaks during shifts that are 10-12 hours and 12-16 hours. It is a agriculture based business however the position Is not in a field but it is in a environment in which you cannot leave. Similarily to a loan security guard in guard shack etc. I also heard that they must provide you with a hot meal after 12 hours but I think that’s only during nighttime hours correct?

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:39 am

      Your business is subject to follow rules based on a wage order created by the department of labor. Call them (DOL), and ask what the rules are for your type of work.

  34. Elizabeth on June 26, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    My boss doesn’t care if we eat, neither if we rest…
    She just care about we make the job.
    Sometime I told her about 10 minutes every 4 hours unless, because we work 12 hrs shift.
    What can we do???

    • Jett V Dyer on June 30, 2018 at 2:02 pm

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

      Presuming you live in California you can and should report it to the government, you are entitled to these breaks no matter if you are part-time or full-time legal resident or undocumented immigrant and they cannot take them away from you. As well, they can not persecute you for reporting them, and if they do, you can bring charges on them.

    • Bee on July 1, 2018 at 7:06 am

      Every work place is supposed to post OSHA laws somewhere. If not just bring him a copy of it and highlight the area.
      If that doesn’t work… report him and the company.

    • Something for nothing on July 13, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      You should feel lucky you have a job. Your getting paid right? Than why are you complaining? If you want to make it in life you need to PUT in the WORK!

      • Luvlug on July 20, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        Stupid a***s like you …. 🙄 You’re the worst kind. That mentality is for those who follow order and conform to every Obey rule imposed upon them. Sovereignty, google it. We’re no ones slaves unless we allow ourselves to be.

    • David on July 27, 2018 at 10:45 am

      If your employer is violating your rights to meal and rest breaks, you should contact a lawyer right away as you may 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). 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.

  35. Monique on June 24, 2018 at 10:36 pm

    I work in L.A. CA. And am on a salary wage, not hourly. I am a manager, and get too busy sometimes to take my lunch break..which I don’t mind..I just want to get my work done. My boss gets very upset…and threatens to put me on an hourly wage. Because …its against the law not to take my lunch break. BEING a salary employee can I waive my lunch break if I’m working 8 hours in a day? I’m so tired of being threatened to be put hourly for doing my job and sometimes not taking my lunch.

    • Former HR on July 5, 2018 at 11:51 am

      A lunch break must always be taken, salaried or not. Any lunch break not taken becomes a violation against the employer and subjected to fines and penalties. So while I understand where you’re coming from, I also understand your boss’ frustration. Threatening to put you on hourly wage leads me to believe that you’re an exempt (not entitled to overtime) employee and are probably not required to record a time sheet. If that’s the case, by not taking your breaks you’re also incurring what is considered overtime that you’re not approved to work by your boss/employer and is also not being paid to you based on an exempt status (also a major violation in CA).

      You’re going to have start making the time to take your breaks. An 8hr shift in CA is entitled to one (1) 10-15min rest break (on the clock, for non-exempt employees) and one 30min lunch break (not on the clock, for non-exempt employees). These breaks can be taken at the same time (meaning 45mins total), BUT at least one of these breaks needs to occur by or at the 4.5hr mark of your shift.

      • toby on July 9, 2018 at 4:22 pm

        Being a salaried person, you are not actually entitled to ANY breaks.

      • Bryan on July 12, 2018 at 12:38 pm

        This is an interesting statement. Do you by chance have a link I can follow that officially addresses this issue and specifically states either ALL California employees or EXEMPT California employees must take a meal break? I’ve never heard of this being a requirement for an exempt employee yet recently heard it is a requirement. I’m looking to find an official stance by the State vs. opinion. Thanks for any help in advance.

      • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:52 am

        I don’t mean to contradict the other reply but CA law states you may NOT combine breaks and lunches. You also may not leave early if you did not receive a break or lunch. Always talk to your employer first. The laws are confusing and many owners don’t understand them. Most businesses are not intentionally trying to screw an employee out of breaks and lunches, it’s usually ignorance. Help them understand the laws together, much more professional on your part…you may end up being promoted for helping them out:)

    • Something for nothing on July 13, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Your right! It sucks having to be forced to take a break and thus lengthen your work day. BUT WHINY , LAZY r***rds like the ones that are posting here, Make life miserable for us normal hard working people. They are so busy trying to get something for nothing that they f*** it up for the rest.

      • Al on July 19, 2018 at 12:20 pm

        You’ve got a real chip on your shoulder. What happened to you?

      • Ann on July 21, 2018 at 2:47 pm

        You call yourself normal. That dialogue was anything but normal.

    • Eugene Lee on August 4, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      I’ll just chime in to the discussion. Most exempt salaried workers are NOT entitled to a meal break, rest break, or overtime. That having been said, there are exceptions. For instance, truck drivers with trucks over 26,000 lb GWVR are overtime-exempt but, in the state of California, must STILL get meal and rest breaks (it’s actually a safety issue as well since we don’t want sleepy truck drivers on the roads). Inside salespeople can be exempt from overtime, but like truck drivers, they must still get meal and rest breaks. Other types of exempt workers who fall under administrative, professional, executive or creative exemptions do not get overtime, meal breaks or rest breaks. So as you can see, it really depends on the type of exemption you fall under.

      But remember, California is an at-will state. That means, employers can set and change both the terms of employment (rate of pay, work schedule, job responsibilities, title, etc.) and employment status (fired, suspended, laid off, etc.) at their discretion. They don’t need any reason or even a good reason to do it, as long the reason is NOT illegal (retaliatory, discriminatory, harassing).

      In your case, your employer has the right to set your schedule, and has the right to order you to take meal breaks (which may not even be necessary depending on the type of exemption you fall under). Keep in mind, if the employer forces your meal break to exceed 1 hour, that could lead to a split shift violation, but depends on how much more than minimum wage you are paid and the total hours worked that day. It’s a somewhat complicated calculation.

      I hope the above, as complicated as it is, clears things up. If you want to discuss it further, feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299.

  36. GEORGE on June 22, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Hi,
    At my workplace, most employee take their lunches for 1hr, but I like to take just 30min. Can I do that? By law, no one can force me to take 1hr lunch, right?
    thx,

    • Tina on August 4, 2018 at 11:54 am

      Yes, they can. If you limit your lunch time, it may push your hours into overtime. Talk to your employer about your concern.

    • Eugene Lee on August 4, 2018 at 12:04 pm

      That is a decision that is up to your employer’s discretion. Unless there is a contract, policy or communication stating otherwise, employers in California have the right to set work schedules, and that include meals breaks and rest breaks. If your employer is fine with you taking a 30 min lunch, go for it, but if not, you have to follow the employer’s guidelines.

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