Is it true that California employees are entitled to meal and rest breaks?

If you are concerned that you might not be receiving all of the breaks you are entitled to, contact us for a free consultation.

California law has required employers to provide regular meal and rest breaks for nearly two decades.  Hourly employees working shifts of at least five hours must receive an unpaid 30-minute meal period.  During this meal period, an employee must be completely free of any work duties. Employees should get a second meal period during shifts that are more than ten hours. Meal periods can only be waived with written permission from employees in limited situations.

You are entitled to an additional hour of pay for each shift where you do not get a meal period.

Employees are also generally entitled to paid rest periods of ten minutes for every four hours that they work. An employer must clearly communicate to hourly employees that they are authorized and permitted to take rest breaks, which must come as near as practicable to the middle of the four-hour period. Rest periods cannot be grouped together or taken at the end of the day.  You are entitled to an additional hour of pay if you are not able to take your rest periods for a particular shift.