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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

1,989 Comments

  1. Rahmat on March 16, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    My boss told even before 5 hours whenever he wants I should take a break where I don’t want because on that time works gets busy and people gives good tips.
    So I don’t want take a break but he says whenever I want you should take a break is he violating the law?

  2. Mikie mike on March 15, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I worked night shifts dishwasher at a retirement home. The shift is only 4 hours, 3-7. They allowed us to stay until 7:30 if we need the extra time to clean up. Well I never needed extra time to clean up I almost always leave before 7. If I clock in at 3 I don’t have time to take a break so I would clock in early and still leave early with time to take a break. Well my employer gave me a write up for clocking in early and so I’ve had to go back to clocking in at 3 and not getting a break. Am I in the wrong or am I being wronged? Not to mention that my employer knew I have been clocking in early but didn’t decide to give me a write up until I reported misconduct at work. Ever since I’ve been getting write ups for things I didn’t even do.

  3. THOMAS FARMER on March 12, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    What if i DO NOT want to take a break? All I want to do is work through the break time, is that possiblre?

  4. Adore Her on March 11, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    I had a crappy schedule change recently and was scheduled for 5 hours. 12-5pm. I clocked in 2 mins early, 11:58 am and clocked out at 4:58pm (2 mins before clock out time), so exactly 5 hrs. BUT..
    Why did I still get a meal period??? Or would this be considered okay and not a meal period?
    Can someone explain to me where did I go wrong or possibly reassure me that I may have nothing to worry about. I don’t want a write up for not clocking out on time…. or on time….. I dont know anymore… Someone help pls!!

  5. Josh on March 11, 2018 at 3:20 am

    My boss makes us all sign a waiver for our meal breaks. Everyone works at least 6 hours and we don’t get breaks. Wondering if because we sign that waiver do they still have to pay us the hour extra?

  6. MD on March 10, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    I work for a non profit community clinic in Los Angeles we don’t take breaks because we have to see the scheduled patients. i”ve started work at 7 am did not go to lunch until after 1pm. Lunch is supposed to be at 11am. We are told that it is unfair to the patients if we don’t see them, but if workers complain they don’t care

  7. Tami on March 4, 2018 at 11:58 am

    My job really doesn’t follow laws then!

  8. JC on February 27, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    In contrary to this post, your boss may NOT require you to remain on work premise during rest breaks.Source: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_RestPeriods.htm

  9. Joanna on February 22, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    My charge nurse asked me to pick up a night shift due to a “need” for 2 nurses to be on the unit for the unit to be open.
    I worked last Sunday, without being properly trained as a night shift charge nurse ALONE (no secretary, no second nurse). Given there were no patients, I was responsible for triage calls and employee sick calls. Therefore I did not clock out for lunch since there was no person available to cover me. This is a violation of my meal breaks and rest breaks correct?

  10. paul b on February 20, 2018 at 12:06 am

    employer can or can not require you to remain on premises during rest break? can the employer terminate your break, then allow you to restart it.

  11. Sandy Bullman on February 19, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    If all employees on a shift agree in writing to take a lunch break past the 5 hour mark is that acceptable?

  12. Michelle on February 19, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    What is the labor law for days when you only have one employee working in a store. I work three days by myself a week from open to close with no lunch or breaks. Sometimes even using the bathroom is not doable as I have no one to cover for the two minutes I would be away. Just want to know the California rules for this.

    • cynthia on February 27, 2018 at 8:12 am

      SUEEEE. SERIOUSLY. SUEEEE

    • Wendy on March 1, 2018 at 10:22 am

      So do I. I work 9 hours a day.

  13. B on February 17, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    I work a 4 10 schedule, so 40 hours in the span of 4 days, so 10AM – 8PM, 10 exact hours. I don’t get a set lunch time, instead i get a free meal and have to get it while i can which is usually never, and typically no one is available to break me throughout the day. Is this an issue? There are days where i only eat for a few minutes and that’s all

    • guy on March 8, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      can anybody answer B question

  14. Rand on February 16, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I work 9 or 10 hours I’m salaried not hourly my employer says I have to eat standing up

    • AnonBitch on March 2, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      Its the same regardless if you’re hourly or salaried worker Rand

  15. Rand on February 16, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    What is the law on breaks rest or meals for employees that are salaried, in other words they don’t work by hour

  16. Dialysis Nurse on February 15, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    hi I work 12hour shift in hospitals under a private company doing dialysis procedure. 1 dialysis procedure takes almost 6 hours but the treatment per se takes 3-4hrs straight in which I am not allowed to leave the patient even for restroom break. it takes 1.5hrs to set up our machines so before we start the procedure, we are required to get our 30min meal break. Our company wants us to take the second break before starting the second procedure. however by doing this, we are not able to get our rest break of 10min every 4hrs. sometimes we get a 3rd procedure and end up working 16-18 hrs so where can we insert our rest breaks. can we combine three (3) 10min rest breaks to get additional 30min break?

  17. Maria Osegueda on February 15, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    I work from 8:30-5:00 I get a 1 hour lunch. I put in a total of 7.5 hrs a day (lunch hr excluded). We had a mandatory meeting/training at work during our luch, so they only gave us a 30 min lunch time after thw meeting/training. In my time card I put I worked 8 hrs instead of 7.5 because I only took a 30 min lunch. My employer only payed me 7.5 because they said the meeting/training was during my lunch time & because I was provided with a sandwich during the meeting. Isn’t that against the law because during those 30mins I was technically at work working, regardles if they provided a lunch or not?

    • Anon e mouse on April 8, 2018 at 2:32 am

      They have to pay you for the meeting or you aren’t required to attend it. And also the law states that your unpaid lunch break must not involve work and you dont have to remain onsite. Those 30 mins are yours to do what you wish wherever. So i would think your employer is wrong.

  18. Fermin Bustos on February 14, 2018 at 9:16 am

    We work ten hours a day 7am-530pm with break at 9am lunch at 11 am to 1130 – break at 230pm and off at 530 being that the last work period is for 3 hours aren’t we entitled to the “major fraction” break or not .

  19. Cam on February 12, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    If I start work @ 1:30pm and have to take lunch @4:30pm – 5pm the latest. Is this illegal?

    • AK on February 27, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      I’m having the same issue. I’d like to know if it’s legal as well

    • Midnight on March 16, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      Based on the fact that you said lunch and not a rest I am guessing you are working 6+ hours so half of 6 hours is 3 hours meaning that this time is “Accurate.”

  20. Corina on February 9, 2018 at 3:15 pm

    I have to take my 30 minutes lunch at start of shift: clock in at 5 and clock out immediately for break because of the nature of the job…I wouldn’t get a break until 6 hrs from shift start. Is that legal?

  21. hooleyday on February 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    I work 8-5 with a 1 hour mandatory lunch break. I am being written up because I have clocked out for some of my lunches after 1:00 pm but before 2:00 pm. If I read it correctly above, i have to clock out for lunch by the end of my 5th consecutive hour of work which would be before 2:00 pm, is that correct? Or do i have to be clocked out by 1:00 pm?

    • Heidi on February 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm

      No, you need to clock out prior to the end of your fifth hour – for your schedule the fifth hour starts at noon and ends at 1pm

    • Kelly Kathol on February 15, 2018 at 7:24 am

      No the 5 th hour starts at 1 and ends at 2 so you need to start your break at 1:59, this is California.

      • CommanderData on February 15, 2018 at 3:31 pm

        Kelly – No. The 5th hour starts at noon (because a full 4 hours has gone by), and the 5th hour ends at 1pm. Hooleyday needs to take a lunch break before 12:59pm because the 6th hour starts at 1:00pm. Math is the same in California as it is everywhere else…

  22. Grace on February 9, 2018 at 9:41 am

    Hello’ I work from 4:30pm- 11:45pm
    I work as a standing security guard and was not given a lunch’ only a 15 min break. Was only paid for 7.5 hrs and We did bring this up to the company but it was Never taken care of. I also got Injured that night from my Lower back and filed a claim with My company about the Injury. I have been working with this company for about almost 2years and when the opened this site they have Never given breaks. We work sometimes 6 hrs and sometimes 7hrs but now they are not even given lunches. I can’t even work due to my lower back Injury now.

    • Anon e mouse on April 8, 2018 at 2:35 am

      is this company in sf by any chance?

  23. Manny on February 8, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    What if someone works from 1:30pm-9:30pm (with “1” unpaid 30min lunch break ) then on the same day works from 10pm-12am midnight all hours (9.5) paid at regular hourly pay? Basically 10.5 hours at work in 1 day with “two” unpaid 30 min breaks .. This isnt breaking any California laws or anything correct? Im making new schedules at work for the first time & im just a little confused & trying to make sure our employess are paid correct & my company isn’t breaking any laws..??

    • Bob on February 13, 2018 at 1:36 pm

      Under California law, that is not enough time off (9:30pm to 10pm) to be considered a ‘new shift’. of the 9.5 hours worked, 1.5 hours would be at overtime rate of 1.5 times the regular hourly pay.

    • J on February 20, 2018 at 7:38 am

      Yes It Is If There Working A 8Hour Shift They Should Be Getting 1 Rest(10min) Before There Meal And After There Meal…. So A 10 Then A 30 Then Another 10…But You Cannot Give Someone A Whole 50 Min

  24. Arlene yamas on February 5, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    I start work at 5am we usually don’t take our first break until 8:30 witch is 15min then we work from 8:45 till about 12:30 or 12:45 around there witch is 30min then or last break we take is 15min before we go home and lately we have been working overtime till 5:30 or 6:30 can they do that to us

    • Niki on February 8, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      No. In california, if you start work at 5 am you must start lunch before 10 am.

      • Jesika Kern-Leal on March 3, 2018 at 9:22 pm

        I believe Nikki is mistaken- if starting your shift at 5AM you would then need to clock out for your meal break prior to the end of the 5th hour – so that would mean clocking out prior to the clock striking 11AM- However from your post – neither actions are taking place so be it 10am or 11am it is still by no means correct to keep you until 12:30 or 12:45 before allowing you to take your meal rest break- so however you cut it you are still the unfortunate owner of some seriously violated rights!!!!

        • keahon on March 10, 2018 at 5:21 pm

          At 5 hours and 1 min he would earn a meal violation for not taking his Meal Break if he is working more than 6 hours. If he is working less than 6 hours he could waive and not take his 30 min meal break otherwise it needs to happen before he hits the 5 hours mark.

  25. Ralphlyn on February 5, 2018 at 5:49 pm

    What if you work 7:00 am to 11:30 pm, when should I take my break?

    • Niki on February 8, 2018 at 5:03 pm

      That is over 12 hours. You are required to take 2 meal breaks at least 30 minutes long.

  26. Kevin on February 3, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    My employer often times makes me take my meal break or rest break right when I clock into work. Is this legal? Are there guidelines for when rest breaks and meal breaks are to be taken?

    • Niki on February 8, 2018 at 5:04 pm

      As long as you have not worked more than 5 hours straight without a meal break it is fine in california

  27. Lilly on February 2, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Can a employer penalize you for going over your five hours without lunch,
    Is that consider a lunch violation

  28. Tamara on February 1, 2018 at 4:36 pm

    Hello
    I work in an office I just came back from a maternity leave. So for now that I am breastfeeding I’m wowking from 8-4 with 1 hour unpaid lunch. One of the owners told me that because I’m an office worker I’m not allow to take 10 breaks. She added that
    She already allowed me to take one hour lunch for my breastfeeding and asked why do I ask for more breaks. And she said that if I want to take 10 or 15 min I have to clock that time out so it will be unpaid….
    I been working there almost for 5 years and they had never give me my breaks although before my maternity leave when I did have only 30 unpaid lunch. And also please know that they have other office worker who he is taking many smoking breaks. Are they breaking the law. Please advise me. Thank you

  29. Stacy on February 1, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    Hi, this is a follow up to my last comment.
    My employer never gives me a 10 minute break, I usually am scheduled for a 5 hour shift. When I had a conversation with her about breaks, my boss told me that no one has ever taken 10 minute breaks. My boss said that I can take one if I need it and stated that if I did choose to take a 10 minute break it would be a first. Furthermore my boss added that not everyone can be a “worker” like herself and she would never tell anyone to go take a 10 minute break as she could work 8 hours straight without a break.
    I told her it wasn’t about being a hard worker, but that she was breaking the law by not allowing 10 minute breaks.
    She said she is well aware of what the law is and that I am free to take a break if needed. She stated, “we’re all adults here and we take care of our needs”, such as getting a drink of water or using the restroom but if I took an official 10 minute break that in my absence it would “put pressure on the rest of the employees.”

    So even though I was told I am free to take a 10 minute break if I needed, I felt strongly discouraged to do so.

    The next day after working 5 1/2 hours straight at work, I was flat out denied a 10 minute break when I said I needed one. I was told it was too busy. Once we were closed and cleaning up, I was then told by the person in charge that I could either help clean up so we could get out faster or I could go take that 10 minute break.

    I know what is happening is wrong, I just don’t know how to handle it.
    How do I get my employer to pay me for the breaks I’m denied?

    • Gabriela Guevara on February 5, 2018 at 11:40 am

      Contact a lawyer

    • Niki on February 8, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      That is a violation. Contact a lawyer or edd

  30. Stacy on February 1, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Hi. If I am scheduled to work a 5 hour shift and either
    1. My boss requires me to be at work 15 minutes early, I clock in for that prep time but my boss doesn’t ever give me a lunch break. Is that breaking the law?
    2. I am scheduled to work a 5 hour shift, I clock in at my scheduled time but I always work later than my scheduled 5 hours due to overflow of customers and/or cleaning up duties. I never get a lunch break. Is my employer breaking the law?

    • Niki on February 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      1. Did you sign a meal break waver? If you did you are not required to take a mealbreak if you work under 6 hours.
      2. Again, not if its under 6 hours.

  31. Heidi on January 29, 2018 at 8:36 pm

    How does this work if you are a federal employee who works in California?

    • Niki on February 8, 2018 at 5:07 pm

      Mealbreak doesnt apply to federal employees

  32. September on January 29, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Hi, my employer seems to think that because she is considered a “small business” that labor laws and wages are different.
    I work regular 8+ hr. (sometimes 9+ hr. shifts) and she pays me for one 30 minute “lunch break” and no other breaks on either 8 or 9 hr. shifts. She seems to think that because she pays me for my 30 minute break that I am not entitled to any other breaks throughout my shift OR a full hour lunch. Is this true?
    Also, some of the other employees work regular 6 hr. shifts and only receive one 15 minute paid break. Is that legal?
    I’ve addressed the fact that her breaks do not comply with California Labor Laws and she argues with me and tells me I’m wrong or I’m reading the law wrong. Could u please clarify what the break schedule (paid or unpaid) and overtime pay should be for an employee working an 8hr+ or 9hr+ shift should be? Which breaks are paid and which are unpaid? If I work a 9 hr shift and am given the option to take a 1 hr unpaid lunch, does that mean I don’t get paid overtime? Meaning, does she get to subtract that 1hr lunch off my total shift?
    Thank you.

    • Niki on February 8, 2018 at 5:16 pm

      First of all, she should be keeping track of your hours. If you are working over 6 hours, you must be given a minimum of 30 minute unpaid break and 2 paid 10 minute breaks. If she is not then you are entitled for 1 hour pay on top of regular pay.

      For instance, if you start work at 8am, take a 30 minute lunch break at 12, then work from 1230 to 430, you have worked 8 hours. You get paid for that 8 hours and 2 hours additional for each break you missed. You should get paid for 10 hours.

      You get paid overtime when you work more than 8 hours a day or when you work more than 40 hours a week. If you come into work at 8 and left at 6pm but took a 2 hour lunch, you only worked 8 hours. You will not get paid overtime.

  33. Jose on January 26, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    What is the minimum amount of time that you have to work before taking a lunch? I come in at 8am and my boss wants me to take my lunch at 11:30am and get out at 4:30. I feel 1130 is tooo early, can she force me to take a lunch?

    • Niki on February 8, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Yes. You cannot work over 5 hours without a mealbreak so you come in at 8, work 3 hours and half, take a lunch of 30 min or more, then work 4 hours and half or less. You work less than 5 hours before lunch, less than 5 hours after lunch. Thats not a violation

    • RoseAnn on February 15, 2018 at 7:44 pm

      I work 9 to 5 with a digned waiver saying i agree to woŕk thru my lunch and be paid. Am i entitled too 2 10 min paid breaks?
      Some days i work 8 -5 no breaks and eat lunch at my desk . I get paid for the 1 extra hour as overtime…do i still get 2 10 min breaks or more?

  34. Luis Hernanez on January 25, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Hi. Ive been working a 4/10 schedule for a long time. But during over time. I work 12 to 15 hr days i get 2 breaks. And i get 1 30 min lunch. Am i suppose to get another break and lunch after the 12 hr mark. And if i dont. Do i get paid for not taking that lunch. Ive been working from 6 am to 830 pm without a second lunch. But only get paid 14 hrs. Not 14.5

    • khat on January 27, 2018 at 11:46 pm

      Hi, for a 12 hour shift you should be getting (2) 1 hour lunch and (3) breaks

      • Mark Wallace on January 30, 2018 at 3:40 pm

        I believe that is incorrect for a 12-hour shift you get to

    • M Swann on January 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Your employer must pay you a 1 hour penalty if you are unable to take either your lunch break for each day that occurs, and an hour for any rest break you aren’t able to take. If you work more than 10 hours you must be given a 2nd break. The only way around this is if both you and your manager agree to waive that break. It must be in writing though. You need to contact a lawyer. Your company will have to go back 3 years and pay you an hours wage for each day you were not offered your 2nd meal break. I just got a 15,000 check from my company after the employees filed a class action law suit against them and we were getting our breaks but they didn’t have it in writing.

  35. Olga Salas on January 25, 2018 at 4:40 pm

    I work from 8:30 to 5 and my lunch break is from 12PM to 1PM and my boss wants us to work from 8:30 to 5:30 because he says he’s paying us 1 hr lunch and we don’t have any breaks. Is this accurate.

    • Mark Wallace on January 30, 2018 at 3:43 pm

      8:30 to 5:30 is indeed 9 hours. You are also entitled to two paid 10 minute breaks. If your employer States your break is paid then you will make one hour overtime every day. Your employer is not required to pay you for that hour so he should not pay you if you to paid breaks and give you 8 hours you’re getting the benefit

  36. Connie kapko on January 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Hi
    I work a 8 hour shift and get my first 10 minute break 45 minutes into my shift, my lunch is by 12:45. Is it legal to demand me to take a break 45 minutes into my shift?

  37. Kim on January 22, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Hi i work 8 hr shift five days a week with only lunch breaks also accumulate. Pto monthly but it hard to take time off & no sick time whats illegal here?

  38. Christine on January 21, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    If I’m working 8 hours a day, can my boss force me to take my one hour lunch one hour after my start time! Eg. I start at 10 am and my lunch is at 11 am.

  39. Gabriela Talamantes on January 20, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    My Employer pays my breaks separate from my hours worked on my paycheck stub so that way I get no over time since they say to get a 10 minute break you need to work 4 hours and I work from 9 to 6 with a hour lunch and I need to clock out every time I go to the restroom and she adds all breaks seperate and pays me separate theirs a section on my paycheck stub that says breaks paid is that legal.

    • Sasha on January 21, 2018 at 10:52 am

      Wow. It’s not legal. You should contact the labor board ASAP for more direction.

  40. Janet on January 20, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I work 11 to 4 and the store manager tells me I have to take a 30 minutes break because I “might” go over my 5 hours. But then reminds me to clock out on time. I wanted to stay an extra 30 minutes to cover my break but she said no and then started arguing with me. Do I need a 30 minute break if I know I’m only going to work 5 hours?

    • Sasha on January 21, 2018 at 10:58 am

      It can’t be a ‘might go over’ situation. Either she’s asking you to stay later and schedules your 30 minute break before your fifth hour or you leave when you’re scheduled to leave at the fifth hour with only taking your required 10 minute rest break. In the event you’re scheduled five hours and at that fifth hour mark she asks you to stay, she then has to give you your 30 minute meal break, however she has to pay the meal penalty fee required by the state of California which is one full hour of pay as a penalty to the company for not breaking you on time quitting to labor laws .

      • Sasha on January 21, 2018 at 10:58 am

        Sorry thats specifically for California. Laws vary state to state. California’s labor laws are fantastic lol

    • MAYRA on January 24, 2018 at 9:18 am

      YOU CAN WORK UP TO 6 HOURS A DAY WITHOUT TAKING LUNCH ITS NOT REQUIRED AS LONG AS YOU DONT GO OVER 6 HOURS .

  41. David on January 19, 2018 at 7:29 am

    I am being told I cannot break at my workstation. Is this true?

    • Sasha on January 21, 2018 at 11:01 am

      It depends on your line of work. That can be at the discretion of the employer. Typically employees do not break at their workstation. It’s a benefit to the employee to have them step away. Breaks are for the wellness of the employee.

  42. Anna Ramirez on January 18, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Hi I have a question: I don’t get breaks only an hour lunch . Is that legal

  43. anjie tate on January 18, 2018 at 6:50 pm

    I work 8 hour shifts at a hospital as an RN. My shift starts at 7am and ends at 1530. We have two RN’s, usually, who give breaks to all of our RN’s who are working with patients that day. Those Two RN’s are responsible for giving all 12 plus nurses two 15 minute breaks and one 30 minute break. If a nurse doesn’t get their 30 minute break withing 5 hours of the start of the shift then that nurse can charge a one hour penalty to the hospital. In order to avoid this the hospital has set a very unreasonable break schedule. For example today I started work at 7am and at 7:05 had to take my first 15 minute break and then at 8:50 I had to take my 30 minute break. Lunch isn’t even available at this time. Is this legal?

    • Lauren on January 21, 2018 at 9:53 am

      Not a lawyer, but as I understand it, no it’s not legal. I think there’s a maximum amount of time you can go without a break even if you do get a break at some point in your shift. Like, for example, if you work five hours of an 8 hour shift without a break it’s pretty much the same as working a five hour shift without being given a break.

  44. Michele on January 17, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    If a luncheon/ training is scheduled and food is provided does that count as the lunch period? However the employee does not like the food provided, do you have to still pay them an additional lunch hour?

  45. Julie on January 17, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Hi, I work from 8:30am – 3:00pm. My boss and I agreed that I would take 15 off the clock for my lunch although I can have 30 – 45 min if I want, on them. So, I’m paid for 6.25 hrs each day. Is this breaking the law?

  46. vince lau on January 17, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Hi,
    I worked as drivers on split shift, first shift start at 5 am to 8.30 am & second starts at 14.00 to 19.00? my company is combined my Am & Pm shift total hours to determine my break/lunch, Is it right they could do that? anyway, they pay me 1 hours penalty on 2 second break since I do not have a break after my 6th hours, when I asked them what happen to my 1st break/lunch, they told me you got paid since you have a long break between your shift? Could you please tell me if they are correct? I know I will not qualify for split shift premium because I make more than state minimum, Thanks,

  47. Cierra on January 16, 2018 at 9:38 pm

    Can my employer force me to take a 1 hr lunch (instead of required minimum 30 min) when scheduled 8.5 total hours?

    • Cierra on January 16, 2018 at 9:43 pm

      Especially when scheduling it for only 30min in our time clock system?

  48. Houston on January 16, 2018 at 5:33 pm

    Hi there

    My employer has been in trouble with the labor board for a few months now. At first we were working 8 hour days with no Lunches or breaks. We work with disabled adults in the community for 6 hours then have 2 hours or paperwork plus travel time back to office. Recently June 2017 things began to change we were told to work one hour then serve are 6 hrs with are clients and be done for the day. They were paying us the extra hour since we don’t get lunch breaks ….being as were with a client full time for 6 hrs.

    Well now , they are upset people have filed claims against them because they didn’t wanna backpay their staff. So now , what they are trying to do is have us start at 7am take are first rest bread after twenty minutes of arriving to work so clock in 7:00 clock out 7:20-7:30. Clock back in from 7:30am-2:00pm which is 6.5 hours then drive back from 2:00-2:30 take another break from 2:30-2:40pm off at 3pm. So my question is can your employer make you take your break after twenty minutes after arriving to work, and if I’m with a client for 6 hrs following only one 10 minute break are the required to pay the one extra hour or pay since we never got a lunch and we’re working 8 hours or more?? Is it legal?? Pleas any advice would be greatly appreciated

  49. Diana on January 13, 2018 at 10:07 pm

    Hello I work at a restaurant and work 7 hour shifts(11am-5pm) and only receive one 10 minute break during my whole shift and I feel like that isn’t enough is this against the law?

    • Drew P Mutz on January 14, 2018 at 10:31 pm

      I also work in a restaurant and breaks have become a real issue and I disagree with some of the wording in this page… The rule is you should get a break every 2hrs but the the 1st 10min has to be under 4hrs or they owe an hour wages, you also need that 30min break in under 5hrs so worst case scenario you could be getting your 10min at 3:50-4:00hrs and then forced to start your 30min within an hour of having just been on break.
      The 2nd 10min break really should be at 6hrs into your shift if you’re scheduled for 8hrs, I think they’re purposely scheduling you 6.5hrs so they don’t have to give you that 3rd break. I’m guessing you’re waiving your 30min meal period like I usually do.
      I almost always get screwed out of my 2nd 10min break.

  50. Alejandra Aguirre on January 12, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Hello, I take my meal break usually 2 hours into my shift which leaves me to work 5-6 hours after is there any law being broken?

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