California Meal Break & Rest Break Law (2024) – Quick Calculator + Charts

This meal break and rest break calculator will tell you how many meal and/or rest breaks you are entitled to under California labor law. Just enter your shift start and shift end times and the calculator will explain your break rights. IMPORTANT: If you took unpaid meal breaks during your shift, say 30 minutes in total, MAKE SURE TO ENTER “30” IN THE MEAL BREAK INPUT WINDOW. The law considers only time worked on the clock. Meal breaks are usually taken off the clock and must not be included in the calculation.

Calculator

Start of Your Shift (e.g., "9:00 am"):

End of Your Shift (e.g., "5:00 pm"):

Total meal breaks taken (in minutes) (e.g., "30"):


(The page will refresh after you press "calculate". Scroll down to see results in blue text.)
california meal break law, california rest break law

Introduction

Under California meal break law (which is much more generous to employees than federal labor law), if you are a non-exempt worker, you are entitled to a 30-minute uninterrupted, duty-free meal break if you work more than 5 hours in a workday.  You are also entitled to a 10-minute uninterrupted, duty-free rest breaks for every 4 hours you work (or “major fraction” thereof). If your boss doesn’t comply with break law 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.

California Rest Break Law Chart

Hours on the ClockRest Breaks
0 – 3:29 hrs0
3:30 – 6 hrs1
6:01 – 10 hrs2
10:01 – 14 hrs3
14:01 – 18 hrs4
18:01 – 22 hrs5

California Rest Break Requirements

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

California Meal Break Law Chart

Hours on the ClockMeal Breaks
0 – 5 hrs0
5:01 – 10 hrs1
10:01 – 15 hrs2
15:01 – 20 hrs3
20:01 –4

California Meal Break Law Requirements

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • You cannot be required to work during any required meal break. [Cal. Lab. C. 512].
  • 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 breaks 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 breaks 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.

Can I Skip or Waive My Breaks?

Employers are required by law to make timely meal and rest breaks available to you, but they aren’t required to make you take them. That is up to you as the employee. If you decide to voluntarily skip or waive your meal or rest break, or to take them late, with no pressure or encouragement from the employer, then that is legally permitted. BUT remember, employers have the right under California labor laws to set your work schedule, including your break schedule. While not required to do it, employers have the right to order employees to go on their meal and rest breaks. If the employee doesn’t comply, the employer has the right to discipline or terminate the employee for insubordination. So it is always a good idea to discuss with your employer beforehand your intention to skip or waive any meal or rest breaks, or to take them late.

Can I Sue My Employer for Violating California Meal Break and Rest Break Law?

Yes you can, and you should. If your employer is denying you meal breaks and rest breaks, you would 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). We can help you file a California labor board complaint. Give us a call at (213) 992-3299. Note, 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.

I Am an Exempt Salaried Worker, Can I Still Sue My Employer?

The correct answer is “it depends”. There are many kinds of exemptions under California labor laws. If you are a supervisor, you may fall under the supervisor exemption, otherwise known as the executive exemption. But that exemption has many requirements which your employer may have blown. Also, other kinds of exempt employees are still entitled to meal break and rest break rights. For instance, truck drivers are often considered exempt and are not entitled to California meal and rest breaks (although they must get breaks after 8 hours under federal law). Another example are “inside salespeople” who sell products or services while physically stationed at the employer’s office. While normally considered “exempt”, they are still entitled to meal breaks and rest breaks. Again, consult a lawyer to see if your situation qualifies for breaks.

Call (213) 992-3299 and Get Your Labor Board Complaint Started Now

Feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299 if you want to discuss filing a labor board complaint. We have successfully obtained awards for our clients in over 97% of our trials and hearings — one of the best trial records in the State of California. Let us put our decades of legal experience to work for you.

Photo courtesy of cjmellows

3,412 Comments

  1. Ashlie on October 4, 2017 at 11:32 pm

    I work at a fast food restaurant. If I work 12-8 I would get a 30 minute unpaid meal break. Am I supposed to get a 10 minute paid rest break in addition to the meal break?

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 9:05 pm

      Yes, you are supposed to receive TWO 10-minute paid, uninterrupted, off-duty rest breaks, because your shift is 7.5 hours.

      • Isabel Nuno on April 23, 2018 at 12:08 pm

        Can a 30 min meal lunch break be taken earlier than 4 hrs if you work a 9 hr shift a day?

        • Eugene Lee on April 23, 2018 at 12:36 pm

          Yes, as long as it is started before the end of the fifth hour. The employer has discretion to set your break schedule, but could also leave it up to you to break yourself.

          • Kadynce Dollar on November 5, 2023 at 3:56 pm

            Hey, probably won’t respond. But I work at Wendy’s as a 16 year old high school student. In Southern California. My gm and managers try putting us on a 30 minute lunch break as early as being there for 2 hours sometimes. How is that right?

            • Eugene Lee on December 14, 2023 at 7:51 pm

              I agree with you that’s not “right”, but what’s “right” and what’s “legal” are two different things. California labor laws require that employers permit meal breaks to start no later than the end of the fifth hour. Scheduling lunch to start 2 hours into your shift would not be a violation of the meal break law.

              Note, in general, the first rest break should come sometime before the meal break and the second rest period (assuming your work shift is more than 6 hours) should come sometime after the meal break. (See DLSE Opinion Letter No. 2001.09.17). In your case, the employer should permit you to take your first rest break sometime during those two hours before your meal break.

  2. Matthew Molloy on October 3, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I work for a country club in the restaurant that is open to the public. On an average day someone will either work the lunch shift (11:30-3:30) or the dinner shift (4:00-9:00) which means we don’t take a lunch break unless we work a double shift (which is rare).
    However, we host banquets, weddings, parties, and events quite frequently (frequently enough that most customers will call ahead to see if we are open to the public or if we are closed for an event). These events often run 8 hours long or more: with set-up, the event itself, tear down, and reset. The trouble is, my employer will have us take a break extremely early. For instance, I come in at 4 pm. Sent to lunch at 5:30 back by 6:00 (event starts at 6). Work straight through till event ends at 11 then tear down and reset (which often wraps up somewhere between 12 AM or 2 AM). They say we can take a break ( a singular 10 minute break) when ever we feel we need it, but there is never time because we are all working nonstop.
    Therefore, I have two questions.
    1. Do they have to give us our meal as close to the 5th hour as possible or is what they are doing legal? I can’t imagine that forcing us to go to lumch early then working us for 6 to 8 hours is legal since none of us ever get the chance to take a break. If we leave for. A few minutes to use the restroom the manager starts yelling and demanding to know where we were. I myself have never taken a break there since I started working there.
    2. Should I be paid for missed breaks?

    Isn’t there any rule or law stating that the lunch must be after a first 10 minute break or any other imposed structure to breaks? (E.I. lunch must be after 4th hour but before 6th?)

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm

      1. In Brinker v Sup. Ct., the California Supreme Court said there should be a rest break before and a rest break after each meal period, to the extent reasonable. But I’m not aware of any court decisions that really address the issue head on of how early a meal break is too early? And you should not be getting yelled for using the restroom, that is an OSHA health & safety violation. You might want to consider filing an OSHA complaint.
      2. Yes. Bring it up to management in WRITING. Remember, it is illegal for an employer to retaliate against an employee for calling attention to labor law violations, like break denial. If they don’t fix the issue, file a labor board complaint.

  3. Eve on October 3, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    My employer requires us to clock in in the morning then immediately clock out for a 1/2 hour “lunch” until the morning meeting starts at 9am. But during that 1/2 hour they make us attend training meetings. Then no breaks for the remainder of the day if it’s busy and you are on the Sales floor. I have gone 10 hours with no break or food. Is this legal? I’m on minimum wage plus commissions

    • Eugene Lee on October 3, 2017 at 9:04 pm

      That is probably illegal. In Brinker, the California Supreme Court said there should generally be a rest break on either side of each meal break. Forcing you immediately onto a meal break at the beginning of the shift doesn’t comply with that. Second, the meal break must be uninterrupted and you must be relieved of all duties. Since meal breaks are unpaid, that is your time and you must be free to do with it what you wish. Third, you are supposed to receive a 10 minute paid rest break for each 4 hours worked. If you work over 10 hours, you should also be getting a second meal break.

      One question that remains, however, is whether you fall under the inside sales exemption or the outside sales exemption. To determine that, you should contact a lawyer.

  4. CYNTHIA on October 3, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I WORK 7A-130P…I WAS GIVEN 1 REST BREAK AND A 30MIN LUNCH BUT WAS TOLD I DO NOT GET ANOTHER 10MIN REST BREAK?

    • Eugene Lee on October 3, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      If you work 6 hours, you are supposed to receive a second 10 minute rest break. Your shift is 6.5 hours long. Lunch is unpaid, however. So your total paid shift is 6 hours. I think, technically, you are supposed to receive a second 10-minute rest break.

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 9:13 pm

      I think that’s a tough call. Technically, if you work 6 hours, you must receive a second 10-minute paid, uninterrupted, off-duty rest break. But if you are literally on the clock for 5 minutes 58 seconds or 6 minutes and 2 seconds, I’m not sure you’ll be able to recover penalties for such a de minimis violation, since the margin could potentially be explained as time clock inaccuracy.

  5. Eddie on October 3, 2017 at 5:29 am

    I work from 6pm to 6am.. the plant that we work on isnenver turn off so we alternate on lunch. But we always start getting out lunch late . One day is my turn to go at 12 am and the next day at 12:30,and so on. There are 4 of us so sometimes we end up getting lunch like at 2 am.. at 2 am is already 8 hours. They don’t make us clock out for lunch kuz they are paying us lunch but Is to much, is it ok if we take our lunch 8 hours after we go in? Since I have no proof kuz we don’t clock out or in.

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      First, that is a late lunch violation. Your meal break is legally supposed to start before the START of the sixth hour of your shift. Second, the employer is responsible for maintaining accurate contemporaneous time records of your meal breaks. If they failed to do that, then you have every right to allege meal break violations based upon your memory and recollection. Therefore you shouldn’t worry about the lack of proof. It’s the other way around, your employer should be worried about the LACK of proof that you took your lunch break. Finally, remember, just because the employer paid you to work through lunch doesn’t get them off the hook. They must still pay the penalty for late lunches or denied lunches.

      You should consider filing a complaint with the labor board. If this violation is occurring not just for you, but for many coworkers, you should consider contacting a class action lawyer.

  6. Patti Googin on October 1, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    My boss is trying to deduct 1 hour lunch break and 2 ten min breaks a day out of our pay. She changes schedule all the time but for most part, she schedules us for 4 hour shifts. Sometimes only 3 hour shifts. So out of the 4 hours she only pays us for 2 hours and 40 mins each day. Can she legally do this?

    • Jackie O on October 2, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      NO!!!

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 9:18 pm

      Rest breaks are supposed to be paid and you are supposed to remain on the clock for them. That is a violation. You should file a labor board complaint.

  7. Mary on October 1, 2017 at 9:04 am

    My employer wants me to clock outand in for my 10 minutes break. Are you supposed to clock out never heard if it. Also after 8 hours, are we suppose to get paid overtime pay?

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      1. Rest breaks are supposed to be paid and are normally taken while you’re on the clock. If they are making you clock out, but they are PAYING you for your rest break, then no harm no foul. As long as the rest break is paid.
      2. After 8 hours, yes, you are supposed to receive overtime. That is called “daily overtime”. If you work over 40 hours in a week, that is overtime too. That’s called “weekly overtime”. If you work 7 days in a row in an employer-defined workweek, all hours on the seventh day are overtime as well. That is called “seventh day overtime”. Keep in mind, there is also double overtime. You get that if you work 1) over 12 hours in a day or 2) over 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day in an employer-defined workweek.

  8. Wolfie on September 29, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    I worked a 9 hour shift with no lunch. I only got and 10 min break. What should my pay rates be?

    • Veronica on October 4, 2017 at 10:04 am

      Trabajo 4 una vez ala semana mi jefa noe deja tomar mis 10 minutos es esto ilegal??

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      1. in a 9 hour shift, you are supposed to receive a single unpaid 30-minute uninterrupted off-duty meal break, where you are permitted to go where you want, including off premises.
      2. if you don’t get that lunch, you are supposed to be paid for your normal work PLUS an additional 1 hour meal premium for each day you didn’t get a lunch break.
      3. generally, if you work over 8 hours in a day, that is overtime. So you should also get 1 hour of overtime pay.

  9. crystal macklin on September 28, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I work 8 AM TO 6 Pm (10 hours) Mon to Friday but am only paid for 9.5 hrs each day . 8 regular hours and 1.5 OT hours along with two 15 minute breaks. I was told by my scheduler that since we only get paid for 9.5 hours we (my co worker and myself) have the option to stay on site for our 30 min lunch or depart. Sometimes I go to the corner and grab McDonalds or Mexican food and come back on site by the time my lunch time is over. Now the client our company contracts for says its an issue because we leave. My co- worker has worked here 6 months before I have and know no different . He was also told he can depart. Its never been an issue before and the client has seen us leave before and said nothing. I have been at this site 5 months and have been in the same routine the entire time. I mark all my times the same for every time sheet since I have started this site no difference. That 30 min window thats unpaid I should be able to do as I please during lunch. The client showed me a contract himself that says we work 9.5 hrs and get 2 breaks. It doesn’t stipulate whether lunch is paid or unpaid but the person who assigned me to this post said its unpaid I’m free to do as I please for 30 min. I contacted my HR department at work and they are working on getting this straightened out. Am I in the wrong for still departing for lunch until they clear this up?

    • Allan Santa Catalina on September 30, 2017 at 10:40 pm

      No. You can leave on your unpaid break in CA. Certain rules would have to be managed in cases where you are in possession of monies belonging to a restaurant for instance – I’m which you would have to check the money in with a supervisor and both of you verify . But the short answer is yes…you are allowed to leave during your 30 min meal AND your 10 rest breaks. Hope this helps!

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      No, you are in the right. Make sure you are making a WRITTEN record of your complaint that you should be allowed to leave and do what you want while you are off the clock on a lunch break. That way, if HR doesn’t do the right thing, you’ll have enough evidence to file a labor board complaint.

  10. mimi on September 26, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    hi, i work from 10 am to 430 pm what will be my brack without lunch.

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      I’m not sure I understand your question. But if you work those hours, that means you are working 6.5 hours. You are entitled to 1 30-minute unpaid lunch break and 2 10-minute paid rest breaks. Does that answer your question?

  11. Celia Wang on September 24, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I have an issue with my breaks. The place that I work at only has 3 employees working at one time: 1 for food, 1 for drinks and desserts (me), and 1 cashier (my boss). I do not have any breaks to sit down and rest because there is always something I have to do: wash dishes, refill syrups, toppings, etc. Is this allowed?

  12. Melissa on September 24, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    If you work a 6 hour shift without a lunch and go slightly over 6 hours will your employer get in trouble? Must it be on the dot?

    • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Well, it’s a late lunch if you don’t go on lunch break BEFORE the start of the 6th hour into your shift. A late lunch means you are entitled to 1 hour of pay for each day that lunch was late.

  13. j on September 24, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Can you leave employers premises during a 10 minute break

    • santana correa-barajas on September 29, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      No dumb***

  14. Jay on September 23, 2017 at 4:36 am

    I start at 12:30 pm till about 12:15am usually depends on work load could be later than that . First brake start time 3:30pm 15 min lunch is 6:15 or so . 30 min than its another 15 min break @ 8:30pm than a 15 min at 11:30pm . My boss told me tonight that should not be taking a 15 min break@ 11:30 pm but @ 12:30 am is this correct ? Oh and now we take 2ND lunch @ 1:00am I’m so confused about all this labor law stuff pleas help .

  15. David Blake on September 21, 2017 at 4:59 pm

    Hey, I work 11 – 6 with an unpaid one-hour lunch break at 1 or 2 (depending on when I want to take it) then a 10 minute break at around 4. Should my lunch break be paid or unpaid?

    • Just Vick on September 22, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Lunch/Meal/Rest Breaks are not mandatory to be paid. They are unpaid time. Regular breaks (usually those 10-15 minutes) are paid. Your employer may ask you to stay on premises during this time, but will allow you to be relieved from work.

  16. Sylvia navarro on September 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    On Saturday’s we’re open 7a-3p, if we happen to finish before 3a will clock out early. I will usually open @645, but the managers force us to start lunch at 10a, before the 5th hour. Can they do this!?

    • Just Vick on September 22, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      If you employer has asked you to fulfill your Luch/Meal/Rest Break prior to your 5th hour of work, they are simply following the law, and running under compliance rules. All employees working more than 6 hours are required to receive a Luch/Meal/Rest Break. The hour this break is issued depends on the hour you start work. For early starters it will seem more like Breakfast than Lunch since they started earlier in the day.

  17. Shannon on September 19, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I am scheduled to work from 10:30 to 7pm everyday and get only a 1 hour lunch after 2 hours of work. With no other breaks throughout the shift. We also work at least an hour of overtime everyday. We can however take a 30 minute lunch with two fifteen minute breaks but it takes 5 minutes to get across the warehouse, and cannot remain at our station during the break. Therefore everyone opts for the one hour lunch.
    Is this legal?

    • Teri Rae on September 20, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Question: Does your employer pay you for the 15 minute breaks; whether they are spread through the day or lumped together with the lunch?

      There is nothing in the law that prohibits an employer from combining breaks, in fact the breaks are supposed to be as close to the middle of the shift as possible. Employees are entitled to 10 minutes net for every four hours worked.

      If your employer is not paying you for these breaks, then there is a violation.

  18. DON ADKISSON JR on September 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    I work for an LAX car rental agency. I’m constantly going over my 5th hour. Always almost every weekend. I have two manager on duty days. One my main manager on duty day. Like yesterday for example. 9/17/17 I went to 6hrs before I took a break. Every week it’s constantly like this cause the owner of the company has been cutting hours to everyone in the company due to him loosing another buisness. Is what we all assume. Well by home loosing this business. He cuts hours on people that also trickle down and me as a part of management team I have to work departments by myself. I always complain to him and knowone helps me. Constant drama. Like yesterday. I was alone in return area till 10am from 730am had 68 returns. Well business opened at 8am so we started renting cars I also gotta pull up the cars and do inspection for each car. Plus whatever returns are coming in constantly. At one point I had 4 returns two cars I was already returning and two pull in to return as I told them park as two customers are walking up to get there cars to rent and leave from being rented inside at the desk. I was working outside desk just two of us one person per desk. Finally I get help the next agent comes in to watch the back desk ( return desk and desk where you pick up your car after you rent them) then it gets busier. I didn’t take my lunch till 6 hrs as I called management to tell them hey I really need help knowone responded. Like the week 2 agents from the front down. And then 1 car wash agent down and then the back agent down so now I’m stuck with no coverage didn’t take my break for 7hrs then all the owner does is call me and tell me I need to tell me I need to take a break how? How I told him. With 70 cars returning plus over 40 cars being rented how? He didn’t say anything. Plus oi have a store manager and assistant store manager both didn’t call me during my day to tell me you’ll be fine Don everything will be alright I was alone. I’m sick of it. This ain’t right this happens every weekend. And they only pay me 13 an hour. .50 cents more then the back agent who has one dang job. What about me .50 more pay and full responsibility of the whole location over at any giver time 6 to 8 people it’s a small location but dang I’m no robot or a slave. I need help. Please………

    • Teri Rae on September 20, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      If your employer pays you one hours pay for the missed lunch/break period, there is no violation.

  19. Jenny on September 13, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    I work at a restaurant.
    10 am-2pm. (4hours)
    Clock out for lunch
    Return at 4-9 pm

    Company forces us to take a 30 minute meal break between 4-9. Is this by law? Or can I waive it? I’m already taking a 2 hour lunch and don’t want to waste my 30minutes what should I do?

    • Teri Rae on September 20, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      You do not have a two-hour lunch, you have a split shift. You are required to have a meal period before the end of the 5th hour of work – in the example above, your meal must begin before 9 PM.

      You are working a total of 8.5 hours. In addition to your 8 hours straight time pay, you are entitled to .5 hours pay at time-and-a-half (OT) and one hours pay for working a split shift.

    • Eugene Lee on October 3, 2017 at 7:59 pm

      Well, that 2 hour lunch is very likely a split shift, and you should be receiving a “split shift premium”. It all depends on your rate of pay, however. You should talk to a lawyer about filing a split shift complaint.

  20. Steve on September 11, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    If you are scheduled an 8 hour shift and required to take 2 ten minute breaks and a 30 minute lunch. Does it really matter what order those are taken? For example: You start at 10am and then take your lunch at 12pm (before you 5th hour). From there you take a 10 minute break at 230pm and another 10 min break at 430pm then clock out at 630pm. Essentially, you are still getting a break every 2 hours (which is pretty ideal) but you’re taking your lunch first. Or, do you need to take your first 10 minute break prior to taking your 30 min lunch?

    • Jess on September 19, 2017 at 7:20 am

      Yes, it matters what order they are taken because of the requirement that you must have a meal break every 5 hours. So with your example:;

      Start Work: 10:00 am
      Start Lunch: 12:00 pm
      End Lunch: 12:30 pm
      End Work: 6:30 pm

      You work from 12:30 pm – 6:30pm which is a meal violation in CA – causing your employer to pay you a meal premium.

      Hope that helps!

      • Steve on September 29, 2017 at 4:49 pm

        Yes it does! So I guess using that same work shift, if one were to take their lunch at 1:30pm, and then a 10 min break at 4pm and then another 10 min break at 6pm is that OK? or do you have to take a 10 min break before your lunch? Just curious. Thanks!

    • Teri Rae on September 20, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      No, it doesn’t matter to the law. In fact your breaks can be combined into one 20 minute break or split into four 5 minute breaks. The only requirements are that your lunch begin by the end of the fifth hour and that you get 10 minutes break time NET for each 4 hours worked. The timing is up to your employer.

  21. Helen on September 10, 2017 at 10:11 am

    If someone is scheduled 330 pm until 1145 pm & takes their 30 minute meal break at 5 pm, does the 5.5/6th hour meal rule apply to the 2nd half?

  22. Michelle M Torres on September 6, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    I don’t get breaks at work and they do not enforce them. My co worker today did not get a break or a lunch today.

  23. Jessica on September 3, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    I am employed by a company called Sodexo and am currently positioned to work at a Starbucks. I work 8-12 hr shifts because we are really short staffed (usually from 8am-6pm 0r 8 pm) and only get one 30 minute break after 5 hrs but no 10 minute breaks (which we would need to at least go to the bathroom because its in the building across from us. Who do I go to report this?

    • Erma on September 7, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      The company should have a HR phone number to reach out to for this type of situation. You state your concern and then a case is opened and sent to the District Manager for further investigation to fix anything not going to compliance.

    • D Harrison on September 9, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      I work at auto dealership am paid by flat rate and in California. We are told we don’t get paid for breaks their included.
      I’ve been told by techs from other dealerships this is not correct?

    • Teri Rae on September 20, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      Report to the Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.
      BTW you do not need to use your break time to go to the bathroom. The law requires “Suitable resting facilities shall be provided in an area separate from the toilet rooms and shall be available to employees during work hours” Therefore bathroom time is not break time.

      • Marchele on October 1, 2017 at 6:59 pm

        I work as a cashier at a store. I have to walk to the break room to another part of the store. I have been told that I must include my walk time as part of break time. Is this true.

        • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2017 at 10:10 pm

          Yes, but the walk has to be reasonable. They can’t make you go somewhere that’s five minutes walk away, for instance.

  24. Ryan on September 2, 2017 at 1:00 am

    I work 5 hour shifts in a restaurant and you cant take breaks, the manager sends us on break if we work 6 hours. What do i do

    • Mine on September 17, 2017 at 6:58 pm

      HI, my shifts are almost always 5 hours only. I take my 15 minute break after the 2nd hour, am I entitled to a second break? A representative from its HR says I am entitled to another break of 15 minutes. My manager does not allow me to get another one. It is really tiresome for me considering I am 72 yo and diabetic, I need to eat every two hours. Is the management at fault here? Please advise. thanks.

  25. Leticia Rosales on September 1, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Hi I start work at 7am and get off at 3pm…i get one 10 minutes break and 30 min unpaid lunch break am I supposed to get another 10 minutes break or not?

  26. Patti on August 31, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    If I start work at 830 and my employer makes me take a lunch break at 10am do I get a second meal break if I work 11 to 5:30? They tell me the second half of the day does not have the 5/6 hour rule because I work less than 10 hours total.

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      Can you request later lunch break? Because they are allowing you it under the 5 hour rule meaning you have taken your lunch under compliance however they are required to give you two 10 min breaks and I believe you should get 15 min what they are doing is having you take a lunch break usually at a time you would take your first ten min break then your lunch should be before 130 pm and last break around 4 pm if you work for a doctor office then normally just give one lunch break and usually before 5th hour worked so no meal premium given – I have worked for few doctors offices and urgent care and never have been given rest paid breaks only lunch hope this helps –

  27. Mike colin on August 31, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    I work 10 hours a day and my HR told us the drivers that we need to take 3 (3o minutes breaks) i dont think that’s right.

  28. Stephanie Hernandez on August 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    So I been working 9-10 hours a day at a dental office. My manager doesn’t even worry about my lunch and when I request to take a lunch she finds an excuse

    • Janet -Not A Lawyer on August 30, 2017 at 10:21 pm

      Always let em know like you have labor law knowledge and say something like “isn’t that against the law tho ?, or I thought I just read etc etc. ” and trust me it’ll work they do this to all of you assuming y’all don’t have the knowledge on those laws but once u show em u got some knowledge trust me they will do the right thing and follow the law !!!!! 👌🏼💯

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      Once the 5th hour hits and no lunch younare entiled to one hour regular pay it’s called a meal premium. It is so employers do allow their employees to gonto lunch it is unpaid your lunch break but if you work 9-10 hours a day no lunch break then you have been owed each day one hour extra of your regular pay!

  29. Carlos on August 30, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Do you waive rest breaks if you take an hour lunch in a 8 hour work day 8-5 or can your rest breaks be waived for any reason

  30. Monique J Holguin on August 29, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I just started working at Am Pm and they told me I am entitled to one 10 minute break and a 35 minute lunch. This is their policy for working a 8 hour shift. I don’t think this is legal.

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 10:30 pm

      It is if they give u ur lunch before the 5 th hour – but some companies give 30 min some give 45 and some 1 hr depends on coverage and staffing etc.

  31. AB on August 29, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    I work 6am – 2:30pm, three days a week.
    I get a 30 minute paid lunch from 10:30am – 11:00am.
    I do not get any other breaks.

    This has been my schedule for the past 3 years.

    Is this in compliance with the labor laws?
    Thanks!

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 10:32 pm

      It depends what industry you work for it’s horrible because they could allow two ten min breaks but if ex: medical industry it is the norm just to have lunch break

  32. Marjorie on August 26, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    I’m working to the assisted living as a caregiver & I start 7am-3pm. We can’t take a 10 mins break because really busy every minutes. The manager want us to take a lunch break 5hours after. Just want to know if that’s a new law for break time

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      After 5 hrs no should be before your 5th hour but sadly yes it has been for years medical industry not usually hospitals but everywhere else they usually only give a lunch.

  33. Jay on August 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    I work an 8 hour shift with a 30 minute unpaid lunch for a total of 7.5 hours a day. I am the only employee on site for the first four hours of each day. I am not given a 10 minute break as I have a bit of slow downtime during the mornings. However, I am still manning our front desk and helping members as needed. Five hours into my shift I am given my lunch break. Everyday I have to sign a paper saying I received all my breaks, my boss makes us sign it. I have been working here for over a year now and this has been happening the entire time. Is this legal to make me sign a form when I did not receive a 10 minute uninterrupted break where I was free from doing any work?

    • Not a Lawyer on August 27, 2017 at 3:18 pm

      Blackmail them bc its illegal. Ask for more pay or else you’ll tell.

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 11:37 pm

      100% illegal you do not ever sign you did something when you didn’t because will be hard to prove unless all staff stands united and does not sign or report but you need to dontogether because you know employer will say ” yes they took their breaks we have signatures showing they have.

  34. Marina Higby on August 24, 2017 at 10:11 am

    i would like to waive the 5 hour rule as I work 11 hour days. I’m being told I have to take my lunch at 8:30 am but then I work 8 hours after that without a lunch. I know I am entitled to a second lunch but don’t want to extend my day any longer. Is there any way to waive this rule? Lawfully? I had a meeting with HR 3 days ago and they say no. I work for a large health insurance company and one of our competitors does allow their staff to waive the 5 hour rule in cases like mine. My hours worked are 4:30 am to 5pm on average.

  35. Ana on August 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    I work from 6am-2:30pm. I don’t get any breaks just a lunch break by 12pm-12:30pm. Is this right ?

    • Editor nag on August 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      I think I read it as the first 3.5 hours of work you are entitled to a 10 minute break and one 10 minute break for every four hours in addition to a lunch break in California.

      In California, you are entitled to two 10 minute breaks and one 30 minute lunch break for one eight hour work day. If you must walk a long distance to a break area, such is the case at most amusement parks, you should be give additional time to walk to the rest area.

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 11:41 pm

      Do you work in the medical field ? Yes only one lunch however your suppose to have by 5 th hour 11am otherwise they owe you one hour regular pay each shift you donnot have your lunch by 5th hour it’s called meal premium.

  36. Sue on August 17, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    My son works a 4-10 schedule in a manufacturing environment. Per his employer he has the option of the following take 2 -15 paid breaks at 6 p.m and 10 p.m. or combine the 2-15 minute breaks for a paid lunch at 8-8:30. His shift is 2p.m. to 10p.m. Monday-Thursday. If he wants to leave the premise to get food he has to clock out for 30 minutes which means he then would only get paid 9,5 hours for that day. Is this correct?

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 11:43 pm

      2 pm-10pm is 8 hour shift

  37. Krys Blackmun on August 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm

    I work 4 hrs, 3 days a week and was told I was not to sit or eat during a break to , if I did they would fire me, the manager says it’s because I work in a coffee shop ??
    And the California Labor laws do not apply to the city of Long Beach

    • Chris on September 7, 2017 at 11:46 pm

      Citybof Long Beach still in California last time I checked – they may mean sitting in uniform in front of customers you should be allowed to in a break area or outside of coffee shop

  38. Chris on August 16, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Hi we come in at 10:30 am and have to clock out at 10:55 am to take a 30 min break to then leave at 5:30 is this legal?
    Also some days we are required to take a 3 1/2 hour break in between shifts so they don’t pay overtime

    • Chris on September 8, 2017 at 1:04 am

      I have never heard of this I would contact labor board in your state because it certainly does not sound right . The whole point of rest breaks and lunch is down time away from doing work so you can be more productive during work – 25 min after you start your shift to then clock out for lunch sounds incredibly ignorant on ur employers part and doesn’t sound legal

  39. Michael on August 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Hi.

    Normally I work 8 hours and breaks are as follow:

    Start 4:00
    1st break 6:30 – 10mins
    Lunch 8:00 – 30mins
    2nd break 11:00 – 10mins
    End 12:30

    The next 2 weeks i will be working 10hrs and it goes as follows:

    Start 4:00
    1st break 6:30 – 10mins
    Lunch 8:00 – 30mins
    2nd break 12:00 – 15mins ( that’s 3.5 hours with out a break )
    End 2:30 ( 2.25 hours from last break )

    In total after lunch working 10yrs we have 6.50 hours with only one 15min break. Is this correct/legal……..working for a mill it is a very LONG and tiring 3.5 hrs to wait from you last break. That when you come back; you still have 2,25 hrs before going home.

    To look at it another way. In 4 days working 10 hrs, we will have worked 24hrs with only 1 hr with of breaks!!!

    Thank you

  40. Erik C on August 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    whats our break privilege if we work 9 hrs and take an hour lunch? which equals an 8 hr day.
    my company seems to think that im only entitled to one 10 min break, is this ture? it was my understanding that in an 8 hour day you get 2 breaks no matter weather you take a 30 min lunch or a 60 min lunch. please clearify

    • Chris on September 8, 2017 at 1:00 am

      It all depends on the industry some don’t give more then the lunch break.

  41. Kate on August 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    I work in a bar & I hate the breaks. It’s so stupid. What are my rights as far as NOT Taking them?

  42. Steve on August 15, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    I worked a four hour shift and did not receive one rn min break

    • Chris on September 8, 2017 at 1:06 am

      Your entiled to at least 10 min break for a four hour shift.

  43. Joanna o on August 15, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    If I wrk 8am-3pm when should I get my first 10 min break and how soon after my 30 min lunch?

    • Chris on September 8, 2017 at 1:10 am

      It depends the type of job and what type of coverage employer may need and how many employees to assign breaks – your lunch should be however before 5th hour but ideally – 1st break at 1015 or 1030 and lunch 1215 or 1230 then off 3 .

  44. Small potoates catering sucks! on August 13, 2017 at 2:47 am

    I worked at Small Potatoes Catering in San Francisco and they forced us to finish our only break within 10-15 minutes. Then told to stand outside in the freezing cold while eating and not allowed to sit! We were not able to take any other breaks and was yelled at by the manager during our short break to stay off our cell phone. The worst I’ve ever encountered! Terrible working conditions!!

  45. Lauren on August 12, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I work in the banquet serving industry. When working an 8 hour shift, they make us take our 30 minute lunch after working only 2 hours and then we get a 10 minute break about 3 hours later or when the event ends. This seems illegal to me and at least just very stupid and shows poor planning. It doesn’t seem right to make me take lunch so early and then have a long stretch of time without a break. I’m still used to a regular job where you work 2 hours, get your break, work two more hours, get a lunch, work 2 more hours, get your second break, and then leave two hours later. They can stagger break/lunch times if there’s not a lot of workers but they choose to do things the dumbway. What do you all think?

    • Melanie on August 14, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      Hello Lauren i have that same as well as the later part of my shift I’m working 6 hours straight with no break cause I’m the closer everyone has gone home that could relieve me

    • Melanie on August 14, 2017 at 8:34 pm

      I work an 8 hour shift start at noon I am there just till 130 then forced to take my half hour lunch work about 20 minutes then off for my first 10 min break..it’s now 230 …. 230 the last person leaves. I work from 230 to 8 with no other break everyone has gone that could or can relieve me I’m pretty sure they have violated my rights. Someone’s thoughts?

    • Chris on September 8, 2017 at 1:15 am

      I agree I like the every couple hours . However sometimes they want their employee to have ate before they start serving food so your not hungry during event or be short staff to cover event once again I think poor planning and scheduling but service industry known to have the worse breaks.

  46. Jhon on August 11, 2017 at 3:36 am

    I work 10 hour shifts with 2 breaks and one lunch break…is that right?

  47. Eric M on August 9, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    JG,
    I work in the Ag industry and we are being told if you work more than 11 hours you cannot waive the second meal period. Some people schedule their employees 11.5 hours, and mutually waive the second meal period which really makes it a 12-hour day (the first meal period is mandatory). At the end of an 11.5 hour day no employee wants to stay for a 30-min mandatory meal period. They would much rather waive it and go home to their family. Any thoughts?

  48. Kim on August 9, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I work a little over 5 hours a day in two shifts i get 1 10 minute break. One company paid me the lunch violations for both shifts! The new company that took over says there not in violation??

  49. Kara on August 7, 2017 at 11:54 am

    If I worked 6 hours a shift and get only a 10 min break am I required to get a 30 to

    • Jo Graham on August 8, 2017 at 1:18 pm

      Yes. If you work 5 or more hours, you must get a 30min meal break. However, you can sign a meal waiver that allows you to work 6 hours with two 10 minute breaks instead.

    • james on August 11, 2017 at 10:37 am

      yes, in fact they have to give it before the 5 hour mark or they violate. you should be compensated. speak with your human resource rep

  50. Diane on August 7, 2017 at 11:31 am

    I drive for Fedex Express in California and we now have to take a nonpaid hour lunch if we work over 8 hours. We’ve only been required to take 30 minutes. Can they do this?

    • james on August 11, 2017 at 10:38 am

      yes, they are required by law

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