CALL (213) 992-3299

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. 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

1,907 Comments

  1. Aloneha on April 25, 2018 at 5:12 am

    I work in WA state. My company uses CA law for meal/break times. Can they do that?

    • Carey on April 25, 2018 at 7:32 pm

      Which one is better do you think?

  2. Carla on April 24, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    I work in dialysis. We’ve started opening our clinic on Sundays for extra treatments. I start my day at 3 am and patients come in at 5am. It’s me and an RN who comes in at 4:30. We were told we are not allowed to clock out for break because there has to be at least two people in the building all the time. The day ends at 11am. That’s 8 hours for me 6 and a half for the RN. I’m pretty sure it’s not legal. Is it ok for the company to simply pay us the penalty and keep it that way? The RN and I take turns using the restroom, having a light snack and drinking water, but we are still forced to be in the building the entire time. What’s your view on the legality of this?

    • Carey on April 25, 2018 at 7:34 pm

      I guess it’s sort of appropriate in the sense that that would make it hard for a smoker to work there but it seems almost contradictory for smokers to work in healthcare

  3. Tony santos on April 24, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Im a pool teck and work on the field we take no breaks since our boss says our breaks are us going to the next pool but we are still driving, also sometimes we dont take lunch because we want to finish our route in 8 hours since he doesnt pay us after 8 hours… what can i do

  4. LA on April 24, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I work for a small Dr office with 3 employee we work 8-4 and we take a 1 hour lunch since we are with patient from 9-12 and then 1-4 we take our lunch together but we still have to answer the phones so someone always has to physically be here is that ok ? Is the lunch hour ok since we really can’t take breaks and how long should our breaks be ? I I work in California

  5. James Bowens on April 23, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    My employer does not give out 10 minute breaks and i work 10 to 12 hours at a time.we usually work 6 hours before we take lunch breaks.i would love to file a claim but afraid of being fired out of revenge

    • Eugene Lee on April 23, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      It appears your rest breaks are being denied. Also, it appears you have late lunching violations, since meal breaks must start before the start of the sixth hour into your shift. Remember, retaliating against someone for filing a claim is illegal and entitles you to file a second suit for retaliation. Retaliation could include cutting your hours, pay or responsibilities, suspending you, firing you, etc. You should consider filing a labor board complaint

  6. Ann on April 23, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    I work in a dine in movie theater, if I work an 8 hour shift shouldn’t I get a lunch (30 min) and a 10 minute break. I’m told I get a lunch but the breaks aren’t usually given due to the type of work I’m doing. I worked a 6 hour and 45 minute shift and was told no lunch break and no 10 minute rest breaks, is this legal? If not, how do you go about reporting it without your boss finding out and potentially losing your job? This is in Southern California

    • Eugene Lee on April 23, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Actually, you should be getting one 30-min meal break and TWO 10-min rest breaks. As for your 6 hr and 45 min shift, your employer is wrong and is violating the law. You can choose to make an anonymous complaint but in doing so, you would be foregoing a lot of penalties that would otherwise be coming to you.

  7. Reese on April 23, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    My boss doesn’t allow me to leave the building during my 15 minute breaks sometimes. Stating I’m the only manager on duty. Says it’s company policy. Like on Sundays, the only other manager leaves at 3.30. I’m there til 7. I take my lunch at 2.30 and then either must take my last break at 3 if I want to leave, or be forced to try and take it at 4.30 and not leave the building. Is this legal? They tell me it is her in Ca.

    • Eugene Lee on April 23, 2018 at 12:09 pm

      That could be illegal rest break denial, but it depends on whether you are exempt. Please give us a call as determining exemption is fairly Complicated. We are at 213.992.3299

  8. Donna Palmer on April 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    I am a night shift nurse and am required to clock out for a 30 minute lunch on my shift. However, as I am the only RN on campus at night, and basically the too in charge person on the campus, legally, I am not allowed to leave campus, nor is my lunch break my own. Is this legal?

    • Eugene Lee on April 22, 2018 at 11:42 pm

      No, you must be permitted to leave the campus and go wherever you like for your meal break. Your employer must arrange for someone to break you. This all potentially changes if you have signed a meal break waiver or on duty meal consent. In any case, you should consider filing a labor board complaint

  9. EYR on April 19, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    The restaurant I work for has the employee clock in and out for break the minute they get to work. So, assuming your shift started at 4pm, your break starts at 401pm and you get back at 431pm. We do not get to take breaks at our own discretion or even in the middle of the shift, when a break is needed the most. Is this allowable under the law the way it is written?

    • Steve on April 21, 2018 at 4:48 pm

      I believe it’s written in law that you cant take your break during the first hour or the last hour of your shift

  10. Jon W on April 19, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I am non exempt and work as a computer tech. There are other techs in the dept that are also non exempt. Some of us wind up with a few “meal penalties” in a two week pay period due to user demands and deadlines. Periodically we get pressure to not incur these penalties. Ultimately we wind up clocking out and continuing to work because we’re not at a good “stopping point” or we simply have to meet a deadline. We’ve been told to “plan ahead” and let management know 15-30 minutes ahead of time before exceeding the 5hr limit. Our corporate office is not in CA and other techs with the same duties in these other states are “exempt” which relieves them of this meal requirement. It feels like a conflict: “meet your deadlines’ but also stop what you’re doing so they don’t get penalized. How much can they employer harrass us on this? Can the employer make it a “job performance” issue?

  11. Maria on April 19, 2018 at 10:36 am

    I work for a medical clinic as a MA, I’m schedule to work from 2pm to 8pm. I’ve been sent home early a couple of times becuase we did not have a provider on site! I am entitle to get pay for the remaining hrs? Also, i was just asked what day can i go in early to make up for the remaining hrs ! Like if it was my fault for not having a provider!!

  12. Ro on April 17, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Is it mandatory to be documenting and clocking in and out for the the 10min breaks and meal breaks? I ask because I’m in a small business and we don’t have a physical time clock and we only make notations on our reports of when we clock in/out.

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:31 pm

      Yes it is generally mandatory for most business to document employees clock ins/outs and meal break ins/outs. It isn’t necessary for rest breaks, although it’s a good practice to still document rest breaks.

      Nowadays, you don’t need a physical timeclock. You can just have employees download timepunch apps onto their smartphones. Many of these apps are even free. Then employees can just punch in/out on their phones.

  13. John on April 17, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    Similar to Jacob, but different. If you get 30 minutes for lunch but it takes you 3 minutes to walk to the cafeteria (no clock out required). Can your employer tell you that you get a 33 minute unpaid lunch, or should they have to pay you for the 3 minute walk time?

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:32 pm

      An employer is required to provide a meal break of AT LEAST 30 minutes. If the employer gives a 33-minute meal break, that is not a violation of the break laws. If the meal break goes over 1 hour, however, there may be a split shift violation. So in your scenario, the answer is: the 33-minute unpaid lunch complies with the law.

      • Gustavo solis on April 20, 2018 at 11:08 am

        **Eugene Lee, quick question:
        My boss is trying to get our employee’s to clock in/out for our 10 breaks but these breaks are supposed to be paid. Is it legal for him to do that or against the law?

        • Eugene Lee on April 20, 2018 at 3:24 pm

          Clocking in/out for rest breaks is fine as that is just a form of recordkeeping. The key is, the employer must pay you for those rest breaks. You should check your paystubs against your timesheets to make sure you are being paid for all of your rest breaks. If the rest breaks are being deducted, you should consider filing a labor board complaint.

  14. Leo on April 17, 2018 at 9:30 am

    I work in a building where employees work around the clock. Is it wrong for the employee to not have the 30 minute meal break, off the clock, if the employee is in a Union and the signed Union contract states that an employee “shall work a shift of eight (8) hours within a period of eight (8) hours, which shift shall include his/her lunch period on the employer’s time”.

    Reposted from Nov. 22, 2017

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Union employees must adhere to the provisions stated in the collective bargaining agreement, which can alter the usual requirements of California break laws in certain industries. This is ok so long as the CBA expressly provides for a meal break, which sounds like the case with your CBA. However, you should consult your union steward.

  15. Jay on April 16, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    During the summer my job switches to a 4-10 schedule. Are we entitled to a second 30 min lunch?

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      Only if you work over 10 hours, e.g., 10 hours and 1 minute. It sounds like your employer has instituted an alternative workweek schedule (AWS). For an AWS to be valid, the employer must comply with numerous specific requirements. You should check with a labor lawyer to make sure those requirements have been met. Otherwise, you may be entitled to unpaid overtime and penalties.

  16. D on April 16, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    The law states that we are entitled to 30 min, but do we HAVE TO take the full 30 min?

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:40 pm

      No, you don’t have so long as your employer agrees to it. The key is, you and your employer have to agree to it. The employer is not required to force you to take your lunch, only to make it available if you want to take it. However, some employers *require* employees to take their lunch breaks. In such cases, the employee must take the lunch break or risk getting disciplines or fired.

  17. Tori on April 16, 2018 at 12:15 pm

    Is there anyway to get this rule changed or exempt for the health industries? I work for a very busy animal Hosptial – we see a multitude of appointments from wellness/general practice, to emergencies to internal medicine cases. It is incredibly difficult to get EVERYONE on a lunch break by the end of the 5th hour (60+ employees), especially if we have anesthetic procedures, even when we have tried staggering schedules. The last thing we want is our patient care to suffer because we have to worry about going 5 minutes over an hour mark for a break we may not even want to take that early. Not only that, if certain people have a trend of going to lunch late it can become a write up/punishable offense because of the amount of employees we have and the amount that those fines can add up to if people aren’t paying attention to when they should break. I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to take my lunch at 11:30am because we have so many employees we have to now stagger lunch times earlier so as many people can break before the 5 hour mark as possible. It’s a stupid law that is very hard for 10+ hour shifts in the medical field to follow!

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      There are many industry-specific exceptions to California labor laws, including the break laws. If you feel your industry should have such an exception to the break laws, you should consider contacting your state legislator and petitioning for passage of a new law.

  18. Toney on April 16, 2018 at 7:47 am

    How about city/government in California rest breaks and meals breaks does the law still apply for the them?

  19. Layan on April 15, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    I work at a dental office from 10AM-5PM. My lunch break is from 1-2PM. Am I entitled to 2 rest breaks, one before and one after my lunch break or just one after my meal break? Sometimes, I’m with patients when I’m told to take my break, do I have to take it the break or can I waive it?
    Also, the practice just started implementing the 10-minute rest break. Can I do anything regarding all the time I’ve worked there that the 10-minute break wasn’t implemented?

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:49 pm

      Lots of questions there, let’s try to unpack them all.
      1. You get 2 rest breaks if you work *over* 6 hours, e.g., 6 hours and 1 minute. If you work exactly 6 hours, then you only get 1 rest break.
      2. If your employer tells you to take a break, you should take the break. It’s the employer’s prerogative to give you orders and you must comply with them. You can waive it meal breaks if your employer agrees to it. Rest breaks cannot be waived. However, if you freely choose to skip your rest break *and* your employer doesn’t mind, then yes, you can skip your rest break.
      3. You can file a claim for denied rest breaks going back a maximum of 3 years from the time you actually file labor board complaint. Of course, the question is: were you “denied” your rest breaks, or did you knowingly choose to skip them. If the latter, then you would not have a claim for break denial.

  20. Stacey on April 15, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    I just learned about the 10 minute break law
    is there any expetion for licensed home daycare?

    • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:45 pm

      That depends on whether you worked as an in-home caregiver or as a caregiver at a residential care facility.

  21. chris schmeiser on April 14, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    so they had me sigh a paper saying that my rest breaks can be interrupted if need be do i have to follow what they made me sigh?

    • Eugene Lee on April 14, 2018 at 8:53 pm

      That’s not enforceable. Rest breaks can not be waived. Even if you sign it, it’s not an enforceable agreement. Perhaps you should bring that to your employer’s attention. If they retaliate against you in any way, you should consider filing a retaliation complaint. If they make you skip your rest breaks against your will, you should consider filing a labor board complaint.

    • chris schmeiser on April 15, 2018 at 8:28 am

      they also said that my 10 min breaks can interrupted

      • Eugene Lee on April 18, 2018 at 8:22 pm

        Again, completely incorrect. Rest breaks, like meal breaks, must be uninterrupted and free of work duty. A recent case held that employees cannot be required to answer calls on their radios during rest breaks.

  22. Alan on April 13, 2018 at 10:47 am

    Can your employer in California require you to punch out for your 10 minute break?

    • Eugene Lee on April 14, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Yes. Punching in and out for a rest break is not a problem at all, as long as you get PAID for the rest break. That’s the key.

      • amy on April 24, 2018 at 5:25 pm

        what if i take more then 10 min for my break? do they still have to pay me for my break time?

  23. Cody Hansen on April 12, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    If I work 12 hour shifts, am I still required to take a meal break before the 5th hour? Seems wrong I have to work an additional 7.5 hours with just 2 10min breaks. I would prefer to evenly stretchy breaks to every 3hr i work. I can take a 10 at the 3rd hour. I can take a 10 at the 6th hour I can take my 30 at the 9th hour and my last break sometime before I’m off. Seems reasonable and logical.

    • Eugene Lee on April 12, 2018 at 5:47 pm

      If work a 12 hour shift, you’re actually supposed to receive:
      1. Two 30-minute unpaid meal breaks, the first one must start before the end of the fifth hour, and the second one must start before the end of the 10th hour.
      2. Three 10-minute paid rest breaks, with each break in the middle of each work period to the extent practicable.

      All breaks must be free of duty, and you must be allowed to spend the break wherever you want, including off-premises.

      • Cody Hansen on April 13, 2018 at 6:22 am

        I understand the 2nd 30 minute lunch is optional and waived. But thank you for the response.

        • Eugene Lee on April 13, 2018 at 6:54 am

          Just a note, the second lunch cannot be waived if the work shift exceeds 12 hours (or if the first meal break was waived).

  24. Kim Salazar on April 12, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    jury got terminated for going over my meal lunch. I was on a call and it put me over. They said because I went over they had to let me go. Can they do that. They have let go 4 other people this week for the same thing. I told them so if I ma on the phone with a customer what am I to do just hang up. They said no. So where does that leave me. I was also just promoted to a new position which none of this makes sense.

  25. Carla on April 12, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Working in a lawyers office as a temp, he replied to my informing him I’m going down the hall (where the restroom is), ‘taking your break, ok.’ Restroom breaks are to be considered ‘break time’ if that is all it is, meaning no smoking, dilly dallying, texting or phone calls, etc.?

    • Eugene Lee on April 12, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      A restroom break is NOT a rest break. You must be permitted to go to the restroom as frequently as needed. They do not count against your rest breaks.

  26. Sandy on April 12, 2018 at 7:38 am

    Per, “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.”

    How far apart should the rest break both before and after a meal break? Is it legal to combine the pay breaks with your unpaid meal break?

    • Eugene Lee on April 12, 2018 at 5:50 pm

      There is no hard and fast rule about where the rest breaks should be relative to the meal break. It is NOT legal for the employer to combine rest breaks and meal breaks (with a few rare exceptions). That is a violation.

  27. Aaron on April 11, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    I like just working through my day, so I waive each lunch break. The option is always available I would just like to skip it. I am being told this is not allowed and the company can be fined. I don’t see it saying anywhere I am forced to take a lunch. Is this true? Can my company police my lunch even if I’m choosing to skip it?

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Yes the company can do that. However, if you really want to waive lunch, you might be able to sign a “meal break waiver” with your employer, assuming your shift doesn’t go over 6 hours. But ultimately, it’s the employer’s discretion to set your daily work schedule, including meal breaks.

  28. Vickie on April 10, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    I work in the health industry. And I don’t have time for breaks nor is there anyone to relieve me. And when we take our lunches, we have to clock out and stay with the clients, we can’t leave. So I don’t really get a rest break at all.

    • Eugene Lee on April 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm

      An employer cannot prohibit you from leaving during your meal breaks. That is a violation of law. On top of that, since you worked through lunch while clocked out, that would be considered off-the-clock work for which you are owed your wages. You should consider filing a labor board complaint. Note, there are a few limited exceptions. For example, if you work in a residential care facility, the employer can require you to eat meals with the clients.

  29. Eduardo on April 8, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    I work for a manufacturing company and currently operate 3 pieces of equipment but they currently cut our break and lunch relief person. So they are asking me to relieve another person on a different piece of equipment that I was not trained on while still doing my job. Is this legal?

    • Eugene Lee on April 12, 2018 at 6:56 pm

      I’m not sure, that is a very industry-specific issue. You would need to look into the safety regulations applicable to the equipment and your industry. If you think the practice violates those safety standards, you might consider bringing your concern up with a supervisor. It would be illegal retaliation to punish you for bringing up a sincere safety concern.

  30. Douglas Yates on April 8, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I worked for two restaurants at the same time,both of them required all employees to waive their breaks. One restaurant never gave a break even on an 8+ hour shift (in one year I took one 1/2 hr break), while the other restaurant, made people working more than 6 hours take their break as soon as they clocked in, then work the rest of your 6-8+ hour shift with out a break. Do I have any recourses on these restaurants?

    • Eugene Lee on April 12, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Meal break waivers are not applicable to shifts of more than 6 hours, so that definitely violates the meal break laws. I recommend you file a labor board complaint.

  31. Janet on April 8, 2018 at 9:32 am

    I work for a small mom & pop restaurant, my shift starts at 6:45am and is suppose to end at 2pm. I am there by myself until 11am. In between 11am and 11:30am, I take a 10 minute break. But we are told that if it is busy, we are not allowed to take a break until it slows down. I have never in the 5 years that I have worked there, been given a 30 minute meal break. I need to clarify how often I am entitled to take a break. It states I’m allowed a 10 minute break for every 4 hours I work. Does this mean that I should be taking a 10 minute break at 8:45am or 10:45am? I’m clear about the meal break but I’m confused about the 10 minute breaks. I’m not the only employee who needs to know this, all of the other employees don’t take regular breaks either.

    • Eugene Lee on April 12, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      Since you are working a seven hour and fifteen minute shift, you must be permitted to take:

      1. One 30-minute meal break, which must begin before 11:45 am.
      2. Two 10-minute rest breaks, one before and one after the meal break.

      It sounds like your employer is violating your break rights. You and your coworkers should consider filing a labor board complaint.

  32. Valerie casillas on April 5, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    If I work From 8 AM till 5:45 PM and I’m scheduled to take my lunch break at 10:30 AM for one hour to resume back at work at 11:30 am I entitled to a second break if I’m not scheduled to be off of work until 5:45 PM?

    • Eugene Lee on April 8, 2018 at 10:39 pm

      No. You get one 30-min unpaid meal break for each 5 hours worked. You worked 8 hours and 45 minutes. So you are entitled to only one meal break.

  33. Lucy on April 5, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Can someone take a break 4 hours for lunch does it have to be 5 to take a lunch if FT?

    • Eugene Lee on April 8, 2018 at 10:38 pm

      You must get a meal break if your work shift exceeds 5 hours (or 6 hours if you have signed a meal break waiver). The meal break must start before the end of the fifth hour into your shift.

  34. krystal on April 4, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    I am being told the rule is 4 hours and 59 minutes we need to take lunch? Is this true or is it the 5 before the 6th hour begins?

    • Eugene Lee on April 4, 2018 at 4:39 pm

      yes, you must start lunch break before start of the sixth hour.

  35. Lisa on April 3, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Does anyone know how many days you can be scheduled to work before given a day off when you work at a grocery store

    • Eugene Lee on April 8, 2018 at 10:37 pm

      The law requires one day of rest in seven. The seven days must coincide with the work week as defined by the employer. For instance, some employers define the workweek as Sun through Saturday, while others define it as Tuesday through Monday. Take a look at your paystub period to find out what your employer’s workweek is.

  36. Kelly on April 3, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I work in manufacturing and our break room is about a 3 minute walk from our work area. They let us take a break at 8 and we are required to be back to work by 8:10. They complain when we aren’t back in time. 4 minutes is hardly enough time for a cup of coffee. You said above that there are exceptions for manufacturing. Is this one of them? Are they allowed to do this?

    • Eugene Lee on April 12, 2018 at 7:26 pm

      That’s not the exception I was talking about. However, the employer is legally permitted to hold you to the 10-minute limit on rest breaks, even if the break room is a 3-minute walk away. The California Supreme Court specifically addressed this issue in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc., 2 Cal. 5th 257 (2016), where they discussed the fact that an employee cannot walk more than 5 minutes away from their work site because the rest break is limited to 10 minutes.

  37. Mmary14 on April 1, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    The hotel industry works housekeepers 8-1/2 hours per day with only a 30 minute lunch break…. shouldn’t there be a 10 or 15 min break as well?…a lot of workers are slammed with a lot of work in a limited time frame which sometimes goes into overtime as well…still no breaks…I know this is wrong and should he reported but a lot of people don’t want to lose their jobs

    • Ashlen on April 2, 2018 at 8:12 am

      I did housekeeping and worked through my lunches when rooms were really bad. Once I realized the managers and supverisors we’re smiling in my face while stealing my tips I quit. Worse working environment is housekeeping cause the GMs don’t care either.

  38. Rebecca on April 1, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    My bosses always make me break once I get to work! Is this illegal? Is there a minimum amount of time before you can break? I clock in, break, clock back in and work for 6 or more hours straight.

  39. Ashlen on March 31, 2018 at 11:29 am

    At my job they like to give the first 10 and lunch within a couple hours of the shift. Then they’ll have me stand at register for 6 hrs, then give my last 10 right before I’m supposed to leave. Is this allowed?

  40. Paula on March 29, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    During Sept. 2016- June 2017, I had a manager that didn’t allow for breaks. She also gave me a hard time when I first started working for trying to take my 10 minute break. It has become a norm for me now not to take breaks even as we have new management. New management doesn’t bring up breaks. They aren’t encouraged but I also see other employees take them. My question is, can I still make my employer pay for the time that I was not given my right to take a break?

    • Destiny on March 30, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Yes! Contact your corporate office. I worked at Foot Locker and was a part of a class-action lawsuit caused by the refusal to give breaks.

  41. Doug on March 28, 2018 at 5:41 pm

    I’m paid on a salary base. How does that change breaks. Also is there a way of compensation separate pay avail.) for not getting brakes.

    • Destiny on March 30, 2018 at 9:56 pm

      Breaks are the same, whether you’re salary or not. If you are not getting your required breaks, contact your company’s corporate office.

    • Eugene Lee on April 8, 2018 at 10:42 pm

      That depends on whether you are “exempt” or “non-exempt”. A salary normally indicates that your employer is treating you as “exempt”. Whether that is correct is a whole different story. Exempt workers are for the most part not entitled to breaks (with certain exceptions, e.g., truck drivers, inside salespersons, etc.). Non-exempt workers, on the other hand, must normally get breaks. Unfortunately, there are a lot of exceptions so ask a lawyer if you aren’t sure.

  42. Anne Schomus on March 28, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    I’m the only cook on duty for our hotel’s night shift. My shift starts at 3:30pm and ends anywhere from 10:30-11:30. They require me to take my break around 4:15-4:30 so I can get back before we open at 5pm. Is it legal to work less than an hour before I have to take my 1/2 hour break?

    • Lulu on March 29, 2018 at 8:08 am

      “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. ”

      You can’t have a 1 hr block and a 6 or 7 hr block. This basically means that if you work 5 hours consecutively, they are required to give you a break. This would apply for meal penalty pay.

    • Destiny on March 30, 2018 at 9:58 pm

      I believe you have to work at least two hours before you can take a lunch break.

  43. Kimberly Arlene on March 28, 2018 at 12:53 am

    I work for this coffee shop pretty kown in around 7 states and I work normally 5-6 hours. I’ve only taken a break maybe 2 in the past 6 months of working with the company. The shift leaders and assistant manager at the shop say that the breaks aren’t mandatory and that if we’re slammed we can’t take our break. What do you guys think about this and what should I do because I do believe this is illegal

    • Destiny on March 30, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      CALL CORPORATE. This is extremely illegal. You can skip your breaks if the company allows it, but they cannot withhold them from you.

  44. Timothy on March 26, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    I am curious if the businesses are required to give breaks even if it’s a small business? I have worked twice for a company for a total of three years that has never once given me a break. Just curious because now I feel ripped off.

    • Destiny on March 30, 2018 at 10:00 pm

      Yes. No matter what the business is, you are required to be allowed breaks. Ask about it and if they continue to deny you your breaks, contact the Labor Board.

  45. Alex De Leon on March 23, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    I work for a large hospital in the cafeteria from 7:30 pm til 4;00 am, I cook, take orders, cashier, clean and stock, My breaks are scheduled together two 15’s and one 30 min, which are never full breaks , they are always interrupted. they don’t care that I can not go to the bathroom until my break. I’ve been doing this for three years. Others places have two or more people working this position. Please I need legal advise.

    • Destiny on March 30, 2018 at 10:01 pm

      Contact Human Resources. That is highly illegal. Even if you are not on a break, they cannot prevent you from using the restroom and they absolutely cannot make you work on your break.

  46. Jacob on March 22, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    My employer gives us a strict policy to be back at my work station 30 minutes from when we are dismissed for lunch but it takes roughly 8 minutes to walk to the breakroom to clock out and 8 minutes to get back my 30 minute lunch ends up being roughly 45 minutes but I’m told to clock out at the time clocks close to my work station which would leave me with 15 minutes of my lunch left to eat and rest. Is this ok for them to do

    • Gerders on March 22, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      Buddy, you are about to get a ton of extra money from your work.

Leave a Comment