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California Break Time Laws: Employees’ Rights to Meal Breaks and Rest Breaks

While federal employment laws do not require employers to offer workers break times, California laws do, specifically obligating employers in the state to provide both meal breaks and rest breaks for certain workers.

In some cases, these will be paid breaks. In other cases, they won’t. However, understanding when you, as a California worker, are entitled to breaks, including paid breaks, is crucial to knowing when your rights may have been violated by your employer.

Here’s a look at California break time laws and what you should generally know about them.

California Break Time Laws: Meal Breaks and Rest Breaks

Has your employer violated California break time laws? If so, our experienced Los Angeles employment lawyers can help you fight back and obtain the compensation you deserve.

Has your employer violated California break time laws? If so, our experienced Los Angeles employment lawyers can help you fight back and obtain the compensation you deserve.

By law, California employees are entitled to a 30-minute, duty-free meal break after no more than 5 hours of work. Additionally, California break time laws stipulate that, when it comes to meal and rest breaks:

  • Employees must be granted a paid 10-minute rest break for every 4 hours worked.
  • Employees can take a second meal break (of 30-minutes, unpaid) if they work 10 hours in a given workday.
  • If a meal or rest break is not duty free or uninterrupted (because, for instance, an employer requires an employee to be “on-call” or take the break at his work station), this can constitute a violation of California break time laws.
  • If employers violate California break time laws, the employee is entitled to 1 hour of wages for each day that the violation has occurred.

California Break Time Laws: Do Employees Have to Take Breaks?

While California break time laws require that certain meal breaks and rest breaks are provided to employees, these statutes also stipulate that:

  • Employers are NOT allowed to pressure employees to work through their meal breaks, which can be taken “off-site” (away from the workplace).
  • Employers are NOT required to force employees to take these breaks, but they also cannot make it practically impossible for them to do so.

Los Angeles Employment Lawyers at Moon and Yang Professional Corporation

Have you been cheated out of receiving meal breaks and/or rest breaks at work? If so, you can turn to the experienced Los Angeles employment lawyers at the Moon and Yang Professional Corporation for effective legal advocacy in your pursuit of justice. At Moon & Yang, our lawyers take pride in being tenacious, hard-working, and quick in obtaining results on behalf of their clients.

As fierce advocates, our attorneys:

  • Never back down
  • Always aggressively represent our clients’ interests while keeping them informed, involved, and educated throughout their case
  • Are dedicated to providing the maximum value, respecting our clients’ needs and goals and helping them bring their cases to successful resolutions.