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.


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


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


  1. R Yungul on October 17, 2018 at 11:11 am

    My work requires non exempt employees to take their hour lunch no later than the end of the fifth hour worked, and has threatened to suspend us a day if we violate that rule, even if we clock out 1 minute after the fifth hour. Is this legal? Many of us choose to work a little over 5 hours occasionally.

    • Eugene Lee on October 17, 2018 at 11:17 am

      The employer has the right to set employee work schedules, including breaks. So yes, employees need to comply with the employer’s break policies.

      • Elizabeth on July 11, 2020 at 1:18 am

        I’m just wondering if it is legal for your employer to make you take your 30min break within the first 45 minutes of your shift? And then working you 6 hours straight after your break?

        • Tori Ivey on July 24, 2020 at 12:56 pm

          I would also like to know the answer to your question.
          Along the same topic my question would be; On an 8 hour shift what is the earliest time into the shift that you can be required to take your 30 minute break and what is the latest time you can take it? I think I know the answer to the latest time, but would like to know about the earliest.
          Thank you.

          • Joshua Petrie on July 31, 2020 at 8:51 am

            I’m hoping Eugene answers this one as well.

            • Eugene Lee on July 31, 2020 at 8:57 am

              Hi Joshua, the answer is, in a typical 8 hour day, a meal break should ordinarily have a 10-minute paid rest break on either side of it, i.e., a rest break *before* and a rest break *after* the meal break. That comes right from the California Supreme Court in a landmark case called Brinker Rest. Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal. 4th 1004 (2012). Also, California wage orders state that rest breaks should be in the middle of each “work period” to the extent practicable. So scheduling a meal break in the first 45 minutes of a shift would likely be a violation of the break laws, provided the employer doesn’t have a very good explanation for why they have to schedule the meal break that way.

              • Joshua Petrie on August 1, 2020 at 12:29 pm

                This is so good to know, thank you!

              • Scott on September 23, 2020 at 7:53 am

                any idea where can find record of that law in order to show my employees? we are routinely made to take our lunch after only being at work for 1 hr due into our 8.5 hr shift, since our boss does not want to have to give lunches later in morning when it get busier for the morning rush.

              • Paul Ramirez on March 14, 2021 at 10:00 pm

                My schedule time is from 8 to 5 but my boss has me clock in after I open all the bay doors to the shop (I work as a diesel mechanic)then I cam clock in and I take an hour lunch but don’t get any 15 minute breaks is that legal

          • Peter Graff on August 12, 2020 at 12:32 pm

            I work 10 hours shifts. I start at 6:45 am

            Question: when should I get off

            Question: how many lunches am I entitled to and do I have to take them, or can I adjust my schedule to leave early and take no lunches

            • Joshua Petrie on August 15, 2020 at 9:44 am

              Your employer is in charge of your schedule, start & stop times and “an employer must do more than simply make a meal period “available.” In general, to satisfy its obligation to provide a meal period, an employer must actually relieve employees of all duty, relinquish control over their activities, permit them a reasonable opportunity to take an uninterrupted 30-minute break (in which they are free to come and go as they please), and must not impede or discourage employees from taking their meal period.”

              If you work 6:45 to 4:45 you are due a first meal before 11:45am and a rest break in the middle of 6:45–11:45. You get another break after your meal break ends at 12:15pm but before you’re off at 4:45pm. You should get paid 8 hours of regular time and 1.5 hours of over-time for your “10 hour” day. Unless you are working until 5:15pm. Before the 10th hour you would be due another meal break, but since you don’t go over, you won’t need it. If you were working 12 hour shifts, you would need a second meal break but you could waive it if you didn’t skip your first meal break.

              You can’t take no lunches unless you work a max of 6 hours.

              All of this info is available with the calculator above, excepting that it doesn’t account for meals taken only time worked.

              • Jennifer Searock on May 31, 2022 at 8:44 am

                You’re assuming they don’t have an alternative workweek established.

          • Israel on February 25, 2021 at 5:41 pm

            If I work an 8 hour shift, what’s the latest I can start my lunch break by??

        • Madmax on September 28, 2020 at 4:29 pm

          Can we be forced to take a 30 min lunch after only working 2.5 hrs during an 8 hour shift?

          • Joshua Petrie on September 30, 2020 at 7:55 pm

            Basically, yes, so long as it is preceded by a rest break. There are newer pages of comments that have dealt with more specifics on this topic.

        • Sonia on March 26, 2021 at 9:55 pm

          Is it legal to start a 7 hour shift and make you clock in and then right after clock out again for lunch because the restaurant will be too busy to give you a lunch before your 5th hour working?

        • Pamela on June 15, 2021 at 10:19 pm

          It’s not

      • Ashley Van on July 29, 2020 at 9:40 pm

        My employer does not have enough employees for me to hand off my patients so that I may take rest breaks (10’s) or lunch breaks(30’s). Occasionally I am able to go smoke a cigarette really quick, but I am required to keep the nursing phone on me at all times, even when I am eating. How do I calculate what I am owed? Do I receive overtime pay and the 2 he penalty everyday for this as well?

    • Mimi Barilla on November 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm

      I requested time off to get off early from work to attend my doctors appointment as I’m pregnant. It was approved to work 9am to 2 pm. Which is 5 hours. My boss is forcing me to take a lunch even if I work 5 hours because she said I still have to work my normal schedule (following my lunch hour) even if I’m getting off early because that means I would be getting paid for a whole days work using my sick leave for the remainder of the time that I’m not in the classroom (again, I’m leaving early) is this even legal?

      • Wayne on June 24, 2020 at 1:32 am

        My employer has made rest breaks mandatory. If any employees voluntarily waive their 15 min rest break, they get written up for violating company policy. If California workers are free to skip they’re rest periods, is it legal for the company to reprimand them for doing so?

        • Wayne Polk on June 24, 2020 at 1:33 am


      • Joshua Petrie on January 30, 2021 at 7:40 am

        I realize this is a couple years old comment, but… here’s what I found:

        “Employers can […] require employees to take sick leave in at least two hour increments, but not more.”

        As far as I understand, the sick pay is not time worked, therefore it can’t be counted towards the requirement to taking a lunch. No lunch is required if you only work 5 hours.

        But the employer does control your schedule, so I’m not sure what happened between getting 9 to 2 approved and them saying you have to take a lunch.

        I’m sorry this happened to you 🙁

    • Annie on October 10, 2020 at 8:38 pm

      Can the employer make you take your 30 minute meal break 2 hours or less from the time you clocked in?

      • Joshua Petrie on October 13, 2020 at 1:42 pm

        As long as you had a break prior, it seems so.

    • Andrea on January 29, 2021 at 1:00 pm

      My employer has been making us take the hour lunch along with 10 minutes breaks all together. Is this legal ?

      • Joshua Petrie on January 30, 2021 at 7:29 am

        No, rest breaks are meant to be in the middle of clock in and meal break, and meal break and clock out, if it’s an 8 hour day.

        “Rest breaks must be given as close to the middle of the four-hour work period as is practicable.”

        They can choose to give you a 1 hour 20 minute meal break, however it may trigger split shift pay in addition to any applicable rest break violations:

        Use the Contact page to get in contact with the lawyer for this website, since I’m just a random person who likes to help others.

      • Tonya Florin on January 18, 2022 at 11:05 am

        I’m was an Administrative Assistant at a small insurance agency in California and I was paid hourly. My schedule was 8:30am-5pm Mon-Friday. Here’s my question: My employer never allowed me to take any of my 2 rest breaks for the 3 years I worked for her. I worked 8 hours per day and she also made me take my 30 minute lunch break 3 hours after start of workday: I clocked in at 8:30am and she made me take my 30 minute lunch break at 11:30am…is this legal? I’d very much appreciate an answer before I file suit against her. Thank You.

  2. Francis on October 16, 2018 at 9:27 am

    There a person I know who works 8 hours and their employer only give them a paid 45 min lunch with no breaks because according to them it’s fine that they don’t get breaks because they are getting paid for their 45 min lunch, is that true????

    • Joshua Petrie on January 30, 2021 at 7:43 am

      No! Getting an actual break is the point of the penalty pay! (Again, I realize this is an old question, but I think the statute of limitation is 3 years, so there may still be time to do something… although it’s unlikely you’ll come back and see this…)

      Sorry this happened to the person you know 🙁

  3. Christine on October 15, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    If I work from 9:30-5:00pm. Can I go on my 30 min lunch break before my 2nd hour of work?

    • La on September 8, 2019 at 9:44 pm


    • Elizabeth on July 11, 2020 at 1:21 am

      I also worked 9:30-5/ sometimes 6 or 7 depending how busy it was and I always had to take my break by 10:15. Is this ok?

      • Linda on December 10, 2020 at 2:01 pm

        If I work from 2:30 am – 1:00pm I am entitled to 2 breaks BECAUSE there is a possibility of us going over the 10 hrs we would take 3 breaks. Now they want to take it away saying we only work 10 hrs but I sometimes leave 5-10 mins past my scheduled time if they change it to us taking 2 breaks what happens if I clock out 5 or 10 mins past my shift making me have worked more than 10 hrs technically am I able to do anything about that?

        • Joshua Petrie on January 30, 2021 at 7:52 am

          So, in your example, your timing may look like this:
          In: 2:30 am
          10 min Rest: around 5am or so
          Meal: 7:30am
          Back: 8am
          10 min Rest: around 10:30 or so
          Out: 1pm
          Total: 10 hours of pay (9 hours and 40 minutes worked, assuming two 10 minute paid rest breaks)

          If any rest or meal break was missed, there should be a penalty paid to you.

          I’m not clear on if you’re saying 2 REST breaks or 2 MEAL breaks… and then they’re saying to take 3 of what kind of break?

          For me, if I worked a 10 hour day and got all my breaks, I wouldn’t sweat clocking out 5 or 10 minutes past 10 hours.

          But technically:

          “A second meal period of not less than thirty minutes is required if an employee works more than ten hours per day, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee only if the first meal period was not waived.”

      • Lisa on April 27, 2022 at 10:26 am

        I am also wondering if I can take my break at 11:30am when I come in at 9:30am and my lunch is from 12:30pm-1:30pm. My end work at 5:00pm.

        • Eugene Lee on April 30, 2022 at 9:15 am

          You are entitled to take two 10-minute rest breaks — one before and one after lunch — when working a 7 or 8 hour shift. So taking a rest break at 11:30 am in your example should be permitted.

  4. Meg on October 15, 2018 at 9:24 am

    My employer is very strict on this law. I start work at 7am and am told to go on my 10 minute break within the 9 o’clock hour. At 10:30 I am told to go on my 30 lunch break. My work day ends at 3:30. Is there such thing as being asked to take a lunch break too early to insure my employer doesn’t not get fined? Is this legal?

  5. Erick Riedel on October 13, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    I work at PF Chang’s. In California. May I step outside to smoke a cigarette in my 10 minute break?

    • Eugene Lee on October 14, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      You should be able to do that. If not, then you are being denied your rest breaks.

      • Tommie Maciel on January 23, 2020 at 2:20 pm

        Im scheduled to work my shift in wich it is from 10 a.m to 7p.m .I was given my lunch after 3 hrs of being on my shirt .Is there any laws for the amount of time i should b working before having to go to lunch

        • Andres on March 6, 2020 at 2:15 am

          Usually you need to take lunch between your third and fifth hour, ideally at your fourth. So no, there is no violation here.

        • Robert Thompson on June 22, 2020 at 7:04 am

          Can a employer suspend you for being late from coming Back from your 10 min rest break.
          Can your employer suspend you for being late from your 30-minute meal break also. Can this turn into a form of bullying

          • Joshua Petrie on November 26, 2020 at 9:31 pm

            I don’t think it’s against CA labor law. The employer dictates an employee’s time schedule and if they have a policy for always disciplining late breaks or meals, I’d guess they can do that as they see fit. If it’s only selectively enforced, that could be problematic for them in court. (I’m only guessing as an Internet rando.)

      • Brandon on February 17, 2020 at 1:56 pm

        I’m in the restaurant industry. When I go on my 30 minute break my restaurant makes me pay someone 20 dollars to watch my tables. Can we do this? I think it’s unfair for me to pay $20 to take a 30 minute mandated break

        • Aubrey on November 15, 2020 at 2:46 pm

          No employee should have to pay another employee to work for them on their half. This is not appropriate for the employer to mandate. The employer needs to pay whoever is covering, and youre to be clocked out on an unpaid break. Report to the labor board.

        • Joshua Petrie on November 26, 2020 at 9:42 pm

          I think Aubrey is right. It sounds like retaliation? See FAQ #14:

          And reach out to someone on this site via the contact page, I’m guessing you have something to talk about if it was within the last 3 years.

    • Sally on June 12, 2020 at 7:53 pm

      Yes you can as long as you follow the guidelines with washing before you get back to work

      • Joshua Petrie on November 26, 2020 at 9:43 pm

        🤔 I’m curious how you came by Erick’s 2 year old comment… 😁

      • Isa on August 18, 2021 at 12:06 am

        I work 8hrs like I went in 6:30 and I don’t get my half till like 12 and I get both my 2 rest break after my meal break sometimes right after each other is that good? And do I have to clock out for my rest break?

  6. ER on October 13, 2018 at 8:50 am

    I worked at a local hosp and for years always took my lunch late , if I started at 8am to 430pm.. I took my lunch at 1pm for 30mins.. if I started at 730am to 4pm.. still took my lunch at 1pm for 30 mins. There were days I didnt even take a lunch. This happened for years.. at least 5 to 6

  7. christopher carter on October 12, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    when did this law take affect?

  8. Gavin on October 12, 2018 at 11:12 am

    I am a salaried branch manager for a small distribution center. My employer laid off one of my employees where there are now only 2 personnel. They state that it doesn’t matter if one of us or both of us doesn’t get a lunch, they are glad to pay the 1 hour “violation” every day for the hourly employee. First, can an employer demand/expect an employee to work through their entire 8 hour shift and only have to pay the 1 hour violation? Second, I am a salary manager, do I have recourse for not getting a lunch break?

  9. Sally on October 10, 2018 at 11:26 am

    According to the Meal periods Law a meal period must be provided no later than the end of the employee’s fifth hour of work (in other words, no later than the start of the employee’s sixth hour of work). Your results show that if the work hours are 7:00am – 4:30pm •You must be allowed to begin your first meal break before 12:00 PM, otherwise it is a late lunch violation. So does this mean the start of my 6th hour of work is 12pm? or am I allowed to take my lunch any time between 12:00pm – 12:59pm?

    • Eugene Lee on October 10, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      The employer must allow you to start your lunch before 12 pm. At 12 pm, the sixth hour begins. If your employer isn’t allowing you to take lunch until 12 pm or after, then that is a late lunching violation.

      • Mike on November 5, 2018 at 7:14 am

        Can I elect to take my break later than the 6th hour?

      • Jose Alvarez on September 17, 2020 at 10:48 pm

        I work for this company break is at 9:30 but we cannot go to watch our hands until 9:30 when we go to take the break it’s almost over at 12:00 we supposed to have lunch the owner of the company watch everybody so they don’t leave before 12:00 and that’s illegal

  10. Jackie on October 9, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    how do the OT and breaks work?
    example: 8 hour OT on a Saturday. does the employee have a right to a full break either 10 or 15 (the usual week scheduled break is 15 min) minutes and are they able to leave the premises?
    and does it matter if it’s a private company or a government agency?

  11. Hayley johnson on October 8, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    I work in a school. I am technically a salary employee but am paid hourly… if that makes sense. I work 7 and a half hours a day. I am given one unpaid lunch of 30 minutes and no breaks. Is this legal? I’m wondering if there is some loop hole that my job is using. Thanks

  12. Rebecca on October 7, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    I work as a manager and my company they make u clock out for your lunch and u still to work on it is this legal

    • Eugene Lee on October 8, 2018 at 7:36 am

      Not at all. You should consider filing a labor board complaint. Please give us a call at (213) 992-3299, we’d be happy to talk with you.

  13. Cory on October 4, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    I work a normal 8 hour day but only want to take a 25 minute lunch is that allowed? Or do you have to take the full 30 minutes?

  14. Jorge on October 4, 2018 at 7:26 am

    My new employer has changed our meal requirements. They are now stating that we all must be in @ 8:30am and take a 1hr lunch and leave at 5:30pm. My question is, can they force us to take a 1 hour lunch if we only want to take 30 minutes. That however changes the time we would then leave and our employer has stated, that while we can take 30 min lunch we would not be paid the extra half hour if we stayed until 5:30.
    Is that legal?

    • Eugene Lee on October 4, 2018 at 7:31 am

      The employer has the right to set your break schedule, so they *can* make you take a 1 hour lunch. However, the last part is illegal. The employer cannot give you the option to take a 30-minute meal break but *not* pay you for the 30 minutes that you do work. If the employer is aware that you may or will be working the extra 30 minutes, then they must pay you for that extra 30 minutes. If they don’t, you would be entitled to unpaid wages plus penalties.

    • Kimberlee M Wareing on February 24, 2020 at 10:06 am


  15. Wade Yoder on September 28, 2018 at 10:07 am

    As an employer I have an issue rest periods being taken advantage of. Meaning when the break actually starts and ends. My understanding is that once you stop working the break will start and you must be back working in 10 min. The taking advantage part for me is get to where you are going and then start the timer. I have employees gone for sometime 15 to 20 minutes due to this. For Example “John Doe” takes a 10 minute break. He goes to grab a snack finds a place to eat it. Starts the timer and takes 10 minutes to eat the snack and then heads back to work. It’s frustrating . We want everyone to be taken care of and have these rest periods but I feel this is pushing it. Any . thoughts

  16. Melissa on September 27, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    I am confused. I work four ten hour days and a six hour day on Fridays. I signed a lunch waiver for a second lunch on the ten hour days and a meal waiver for the six hour day. My question is twofold. First: if I start at 6 am, can my employer have our lunch start at 12:15 pm, six hours and 15 minutes after we clock in? Also, have us take our second 15 minute break with it, have us clock in at 1 pm but have our paid hours show that we only clocked out from 12:15 to 12:45 for lunch? I am confused because this site states that the employer has until the end of the fifth hour to have us take our lunch, which would be by 12 noon I’m guessing?

  17. Kailey on September 26, 2018 at 10:21 pm

    I work as a swim instructor and usually my shifts are about 4 hours long, but one day a week I work a 5 1/2 hour shift with one 15 minute break and no lunch. I never agreed to waive my lunch, but my shift is still under 6 hours so does that mean my lunch is waived unless I request otherwise?

  18. S Reeger on September 26, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    My daughter works at the front desk of a major hotel chain. For several months the company has been short staffed and my daughter has been asked to work overtime without breaks or lunch. There are days where she has requested a lunch and there is no one there to relieve her to take a lunch break. Some of those days she has worked up to 14 hrs straight due to short staff.

    She is always a team player, however it seems to me she is getting the short end of the stick.

    Can they legally force her to work long hours without a break and without a lunch? I have several texts in my phone where she is in tears, hungry, tired and feels unappreciated for all the work she does for this company. Also, she is not the only employee that is treated this way at the hotel – the ones that have actually stuck around are also working without breaks and without lunches.

    What steps can she take to stop this type of activity?

  19. Kurt on September 26, 2018 at 8:57 am

    If proposition 11 goes into affect, would this not violate emt and Paramedics of private ambulance companies rights to being compensated for missed meal breaks? They are trying to take away our meal breaks with prop 11 because they say we need to respond to the call, which would happen regardless if we are on a break or not. I am just curious if this proposition violates a larger law if it’s passed

  20. George L. on September 25, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    I’ve worked as a security guard for 5 years now and have always been given a paid lunch because I had to stay on site. Today I receive a notice that I am now supposed clock out/clock in for lunch, and stay an extra half hour due to a “new” California law. Is there such a law that has come into effect or is my employer trying to put the blame of change in their policy on California law?

  21. Christine R on September 25, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    I am a Union member and was previously considered to be exempt from having to take my lunch break before the 5hr mark but now being told that the law has changed and we are no longer considered exempt. I would like to know the specific new California labor law section code pertaining to previously union employees that states no longer exempt from this.

    • Kathy Brueckner on March 8, 2020 at 8:54 am

      My company I work for tells us to clock into office to see schedule change but tells time clock out right after but we must start our 5th hr for lunch at that time but were at home and not on the clock yet can they really make us start or time then . I dont think that fare . If were just checking our schedule. Please send me an email back on this

      • Eugene Lee on March 8, 2020 at 9:45 am

        I don’t understand your question. Could you rephrase? I’d be happy to try to answer.

  22. Heather on September 24, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    I’m curious about the stipulation that an employee must be allowed to take his/her lunch break off premises; specifically, whether there are any exceptions. I work at a hotel and, because I’m often the only employee on the premises, I’m not allowed to leave because there could be a fire alarm or other emergency. The same applies to my rest breaks: I cannot leave the premises and must have the phone with me at all times.

  23. Juana on September 21, 2018 at 10:13 am

    If an employee works more than 7hrs without a brake do we have to add an extra hour to her pay?

    • Eugene Lee on September 21, 2018 at 6:38 pm

      That depends – on whether the employee wanted to skip their break (then no, you don’t have to pay the extra hour) or wanted their break but was prevented from taking it (then maybe yes, you do have to pay the extra hour). The issue is actually pretty complicated – for instance, was the employee punched out but interrupted while on break, did the employee not punch out at all for break, etc. I’d strongly recommend you speak with an employer-side lawyer as the consequences of getting it wrong could be very expensive for your company.

  24. Mike on September 21, 2018 at 9:00 am

    I work 1030pm to 7or 720am. Recently my managers schedule changed and they leave early so they tell me to take a break at 12-1am after being there just 2-2.5 hours then I work another 6 hours and they leave after I return so I don’t get my 2 duty free 10 min breaks and often work over 8 hours total in a day . I told them I don’t think they can break me for lunch that early . They replied via email that so long as I get a 30 min break it doesn’t matter when I take it . As long as I take it it can be anytime after I clock in. A previous worker used to have to clock in and then clock out for lunch as soon as he arrived. I’m worried this is what they will do to me now that he’s gone and the manager leaves right after I return from my break usually 1230 to 1am . I think they still owe me a meal break penalty. Am I correct that if they break me for lunch and I return and work more than 6 hours they still owe me a meal break pentaly of 1 hour at regular pay?

    • Eugene Lee on September 21, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      Since you are on the clock for 8 hrs and 50 mins, you would be entitled to just one 30-min meal break and two 10-min rest breaks. It sounds like you’re getting the meal break, but not the 2 duty free 10 min rest breaks, in which case you are owed 1 hr of penalty at regular pay for each day you didn’t get the 2 rest breaks. If the employer orders you to punch out for lunch as soon as you clock in, I think that is a violation. The Supreme Court has stated that in a typical 8 hour shift, there should be a rest break both before and after the meal break. So if that starts happening, I think you have an argument for 1 hour of penalty for each day you were ordered to clock out for lunch right away.

  25. Nolan on September 20, 2018 at 11:17 pm

    I work as a dishwasher, 8 hours per day, 4 days a week, 7:00-3:00. I am not given a 30 minute break. Most of the other employees waive their 30 minutes and eat meals on duty. I am not provided a meal, but waive my 30 each day anyway so that im not the only one asking for a break. I usually also waive my 10s, or just try to take quick breaks (~2 minutes) in between cycles. Am I entitled to receive back pay on all those days I didnt take a lunch break? Or did I have to specifically ask? Also what constitutes an on-duty lunch break under the law?

    • Eugene Lee on September 21, 2018 at 6:51 pm

      Well, that depends on whether you voluntarily skipped your breaks, which it sounds like you did. In that case, no, you couldn’t ask for a meal break penalty. Yes, you should be either asking to take your breaks, or you should go ahead and try to take them.

      An on-duty meal break is a special situation where the nature of your job does not permit you to leave the premises and take a normal, off-duty, uninterrupted meal break. In that case, the employer and the employee can agree in writing to an on-duty meal break where the employee continues to be on duty, on the clock, and working while eating (e.g., eating at your desk or station). In that case, no meal break penalty is owed.

      • Nolan on September 22, 2018 at 7:21 pm

        thank you for the reply and your answers in general! as a brief follow up I was curious what counts as off duty? specifically, if dishes are allowed to pile up while im on a lunch break or a rest break because no one is doing them and I have to work harder when I get back as a result, can it still count as a break?

      • Peter Murray on January 15, 2020 at 6:04 pm

        I recently started working at a company. For my 30 min lunch break I went off the premises and had my lunch on a small retaining wall in front of an SPCA. It’s right on the side walk and I’m not 100% sure it’s actually the SPCA property. My feet are on the sidewalk; that I know. After I returned from lunch an employee, (Not 100% on his role. He’s been there a few years but he’s definitely not my boss per say. I’m still so new it’s hard to tell yet the chain of command) approached me and said, “listen, you’re not in trouble but don’t eat your lunch in front of the SPCA. They already hate us”.
        The company I work at recycles concrete and thus produces dust. They employee a full crew to street sweep and pick up all garbage on the street of business as well as a few streets beyond that.
        So other businesses apparently have issues with the dust, the SPCA included I guess.
        All that aside, my question is: does my employer have the right to tell me where I can or can’t eat my lunch when I’m off the clock and off the premises?
        My response was “no problem, won’t happen again”
        But my question remains. I sincerely appreciate your time and input. While I don’t wish to make it a big deal, it didn’t sit right with me. And I really liked sitting there and seeing a few doggies. 🙂

  26. Leila on September 20, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    I recently provided my employer with a demand letter with an amount owed to me because while working for them they have never had a rest break policy and I have never received a rest they told me that I took a break at times that I ran outside to smoke inbetween customers( which I have the phone on me to answer and take orders at all times even in the bathroom). Can that be considered a rest break.

    • Eugene Lee on September 20, 2018 at 6:20 pm

      No it cannot. First, bathroom trips do NOT count as rest breaks. As a matter of health, safety and basic human decency, employers must allow employees to use the rest room as needed. Smoke breaks CAN constitute rest breaks. However, if you were required to keep the phone with you and answer it at all times, then you were never relieved of your duties while on break. That is exactly the issue that came before the California Supreme Court in 2016 in Augustus v. ABM Security Services, Inc. The Supreme Court was very clear in stating that being required to keep and answer a radio meant security guards were never given proper rest breaks. If your employer doesn’t resolve your issues, you should seriously consider filing a labor board complaint. Please feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299, we’d be happy to discuss it with you.

    • Matty on October 8, 2019 at 4:38 pm

      I am an hourly employee at a restaurant. The shifts are generally anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. The restaurant policy is that we arrive at our start time to clock in. We are then immediately forced to take our 30 minute rest break (unpaid) and then start working until the end of our shift.

      Is this legal? It’s a waste of time to sit there for 30 minutes when i haven’t even really begun working yet. Seems like they are skirting the intent of the law.

  27. Benny on September 20, 2018 at 11:55 am

    I am a shift supervisor at a manufacturing facility. My crew is on a “California approved” four ten schedule. From what I have read, including the chart on your web page, my company is obligated to provide two 10 minute rest periods and one meal period, which is how we have been working since implementing the 4-10. However, some of the employees insist that a third ten minute break is warranted because about half of the time, they wind up working 2-5 minutes of overtime each day due to mostly legitimate reasons. This overtime is discouraged by the company, yet it continues to be recorded without consequence. In my opinion, saying they work over ten hours is splitting hairs. They are scheduled to work ten hours per day, never any more (6 AM-4:30 PM, with an unpaid 30 min. lunch). I personally wouldn’t mind giving them an additional break, especially if not giving it means running afoul of the labor laws, but upper management insists that they are not entitled to it. Please help me to understand what is required in my situation. Thanks.

    • Eugene Lee on September 20, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      Your workers are correct, your upper management is wrong. If workers are going OVER 10 hours on the clock, even by 1 minute (excluding off-the-clock lunch breaks), then they must receive TWO 30-minute meal breaks and THREE 10-minute rest breaks. That’s assuming they haven’t signed a meal break waiver giving up their second meal break (which only works if their shift does not exceed 12 hours).

      The risk your company takes by denying them those extra breaks exposes the company to significant penalties, liability, attorney fees. I don’t want to be harsh, but that’s pretty foolish of them.

  28. Crystal Taylor on September 20, 2018 at 10:14 am

    If I work 5:58 am-4:15 PM and take a 30 minute lunch break in between am i supposed to take a 2nd lunch?

    • Eugene Lee on September 20, 2018 at 11:53 am

      No – since you are on the clock for a total of 9 hours and 47 minutes (the 30 minute lunch doesn’t count as you are off the clock during those 30 minutes), you are entitled to only 1 30-minute lunch. If you go over 10 hours on the clock, then you would be entitled to a second 30-minute lunch.

    • Kat on June 29, 2020 at 8:56 pm

      I’m a nurse who works NOC shift (11p-7:30a) and I’m the only nurse on my unit. Sometimes I’m unable to take my break on time because, of course, patients have change of conditions or need something done that I cannot wait 30 minutes later to accomplish. There are times I can’t even take my break at all because it would be unsafe to leave the floor as there is no nurse to relieve me. Is payroll allowed to change my hours to make it look like I took my break on time? My company denies paying me my meal break on days I’m unable to take my break and also change my lunch clock in/out time so that it’s before the 5th hour. I’m forced to work on my breaks because things will not get accomplished on time as there’s no OT allowed at the end of shift. Am I in the wrong here?

  29. dee on September 20, 2018 at 12:08 am

    I recently revoked my meal waiver with my employer, and now my employer is requiring me to clock in and them immediately clock out for lunch, then work my 8 hour shift because they don’t have the needed staff to cover my position. they are also having me take my 2 10 minute rest breaks later in my shift, and I am not fully relieved of my duties (because Im maintaining possession of company keys while on break). this has been happening since I started working for this company, and they have never paid me for my missed rest periods. I am also on restricted duty per doctors note, and they haven’t been honoring my restrictions 100% of the time.

    how can I get my employer to comply?

    • Eugene Lee on September 20, 2018 at 11:55 am

      Complain in writing that you aren’t getting a proper meal break and rest breaks (email or text to supervisor and/or HR are best). If the employer doesn’t fix the problem, you should seriously consider the next step: filing a labor board complaint. Please feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to discuss it with you further.

  30. Jose Vargas on September 19, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    I’m an exempt supervisor working 1:30 pm to 11:00 pm. I was told that I get 1 hour for lunch when I was hired. Now they cut it down to 1/2 an hour. Can they do that?

    • Eugene Lee on September 19, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      That really depends on whether you really are an exempt supervisor. Just because you are a supervisor and receive a salary doesn’t mean you *should* be exempt. Please feel free to give us a call tomorrow at (213) 992-3299 and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you. Exemptions can be relatively complicated, especially in California.

    • Eugene Lee on September 20, 2018 at 11:48 am

      I should add, California employers are required to provide a meal break of 30 minutes minimum. As long as you are getting at least a 30 minute meal break, the employer is complying with the meal break laws. If you are properly classified as an exempt supervisor (meaning you meet all the exemption requirements), then under California law, the employer is not required to provide you any meal or rest breaks at all.

  31. Alex on September 19, 2018 at 11:59 am

    From San Diego, California.

    I have not taken a 10 minute break at my job in about two years. I didnt even know it was a mandated thing. What should i do?

    Also, i work 8.5 hour shifts(lunches included as the .5) is there a specific hour that my lunch needs to be taken and finished before? Asking because usually i dont take a lunch. I work 8 hours then clock out for a lunch and go home, having a coworker clock me out after the 30 mins is over.

    • Eugene Lee on September 19, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      You should tell your employer and/or HR in writing (text or email) that you haven’t been getting rest breaks, then see if your employer fixes the problem. If they don’t, you should consider filing a labor board complaint. Lunch must begin before the sixth hour of your shift. If it doesn’t, that’s considered a late lunch violation and you would be owed 1 hour of penalty for each day that happened. In your case, you definitely have a late lunch violation. Please feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to discuss it with you.

  32. Terri on September 18, 2018 at 9:18 pm

    Just curious

    If I work a 10 hr shift ( we are on a “alternative “ work schedule) am I required to take a lunch before the 5th hr? We do not have a set lunch schedule and most times we are sent to lunch 2 hrs into our shift. So after lunch we work 6-7+straight. What’s the difference between working 5 straight hours in the morning vs 5 straight hours in the afternoon?

    • Eugene Lee on September 20, 2018 at 11:51 am

      Terri, the California Supreme Court has said the employer is complying with the law so long as they provide you at least 1 30-minute meal break for any shift up to 10 hours, and as long as that lunch starts before the sixth hour into your shift. So in your case, there is no difference working 5 straight hours in the morning or in the afternoon, as long as you are getting your 1 30-minute meal break before the sixth hour.

      If your shift goes OVER 10 hours (even by a minute), then you are entitled to a SECOND 30-minute meal break.

      • Jeff on October 5, 2018 at 1:33 pm

        Do I understand this correctly: Someone can come in and work 30m, take a 30m meal break, and then work the rest of their 8-hour shift (7.5 remaining hours) without another meal break, even though it’s 7.5 consecutive hours without another meal break?

        • Eugene Lee on October 5, 2018 at 4:05 pm

          The California Supreme Court has stated that in a typical 8-hour shift, there should typically be a 10-minute rest on *either* side of the 30-minute unpaid meal break. In your scenario, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to have a 10-minute rest before the lunch break starts so I doubt your scenario would hold up as being legal.

  33. Leigh on September 18, 2018 at 5:11 am

    I work as an RN in a large hospital. I work 12.5 hour shifts. Is the hospital obligated to provide a 30 min. lunch break at the six hour of working mark. It is frequent that I will be told to go to my only meal break after 10.5 hours of work and clock out (an hour and a half before clocking out for home). At that time I would rather charge a meal penalty. Am I in my rights not to clock out and charge the hour? There is no language in the union contract to address this issue.

    • Eugene Lee on September 18, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      Most RNs are not exempt, so the answer is yes, you should be receiving a 30 minute lunch that starts before the six hour mark (assuming as you said that the union contract is silent). If you’re going to your first lunch after 10.5 hours, that is already a meal break violation because it is late, so you should be receiving a meal penalty regardless. As for following the employer’s instruction to clock out, you should generally comply so long as you aren’t actually working while off the clock. If you are still required to work even though clocked out, that is an off-the-clock violation. The above may seem a bit complicated or confusing. If you want to discuss it further, please feel free to call us at (213) 992-3299.

  34. Liza on September 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    Can my employer require that I attend a 1-hour mandatory meeting during my meal period but pay me for only 30 minutes of it? They are saying this is counted as a meal period, but I was in a meeting with my supervisor during the lunch meeting, and everything I see on the laws make me think this is against the labor code. Thanks!

    • Eugene Lee on September 18, 2018 at 5:47 pm

      No, the employer cannot do that, at all. That is a violation. You are owed a meal break penalty PLUS the one hour should be paid for as time worked. You should consider filing a labor board complaint. If you want to discuss it further, please feel free to call us at (213) 992-3299.

  35. Katie on September 16, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    What is the rule/law for a break area? We have a dedicated staff lounge with chairs, tables, fridge, microwaves, coffee makers, etc, and also with a outdoor seating area, but often meetings or events are held in the staff lounge and we are told we can’t eat there and need to go to the additional lounge that is very small and has no outside lounging area.

    Background….this is a public school. They allow PTA meetings, staff meetings, staff events, or student events in the staff lounge and we are notified it’s not available for break or lunch.

  36. CJ on September 16, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    I work in the baking industry at Panera. The way our job is set up there are two bakers that work each store one to set up the product and the other to bake it off. About a month and a half ago our 1st baker quit and our boss has been making 1 person do the job of two people. He schedules us 8 hours to do it. Naturally we go past our tenth hour sometimes and even work thru our thirty and two tens to finish everything. I read that it is our responsibility to take breaks but given our situation what course of action can I take to make sure we can take our breaks or that this is lawful? The main baker that works at this store has suffered psychological abuse over the stress of doing everything by himself.

    • Eugene Lee on September 18, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      You need to state in writing (text or email) to your bosses that you are doing the work of two workers and because of that, you are not having enough time to take your breaks. If the employer does not fix the situation (probably by hiring a second baker), then you should consider filing a labor board complaint because, at that point, the employer is violating your break rights. If you want to discuss it further, please feel free to call us at (213) 992-3299.

  37. Martin on September 14, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Hello, so i work at a warehouse, 4 days a week from 7 a.m. to 5:30 pm. We are given two 15 minute breaks and one 30. The way our they explain our 15 minutes is that legally the company is only supposed to give us a 10, but they’re being generous by giving us those extra 5 minutes for walking to and back from the breakroom. The issue i’m having is that the company wants us to be back at our stations, scanning something by the time the our break is over. It takes about 2-3 minutes for us to get our stations up and running. So to break it down, 5 minutes to walk back and to from the break room, 2-3 minutes of preparation, and 7-8 minutes of actually being in the break room. Is this legal?

    • Eugene Lee on September 14, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      No it is not legal. Rest breaks must be NET 10 minutes. In your case, because it takes 5 minutes to walk to/from the breakroom, you aren’t getting 15-minute rest breaks, you’re getting NET 10 minute rest breaks. But the problem is you’re only getting two of them. You are supposed to be getting 3 of them. Also, you’re only getting 1 unpaid 30-minute uninterrupted meal break, but you’re supposed to be getting two of them (assuming you are on the clock over 10 hours). So it appears you are being shorted 1 rest break and 1 meal break.

      You should consider filing a labor board complaint. Please give us a call at (213) 992-3299 if you want to talk it over.

    • Coleman Ruhlow on September 15, 2018 at 9:13 am

      amazon has ways of getting around these laws. we are allowed to clock in 5 minutes early or late in beginning and at the end of shifts. these “grace periods” along with the form u signed when starting, exempting u of ur second lunch are how they get around this.

      • Eugene Lee on September 18, 2018 at 5:53 pm

        That’s not surprising to hear, Amazon is a very slick operation run by very smart people. But even smart people slip up every now and then. If they ever do, give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’ll see what we can do about it.

  38. Christina August on September 14, 2018 at 9:01 am

    question when working an 8 hr shift do I have to have my lunch end by my 6th hour or just start with in my 5th hour?

    • Eugene Lee on September 14, 2018 at 9:05 pm

      Your lunch must start before the start of the sixth hour into your shift. So as an example, if you clock in at 9 am, your lunch break must begin BEFORE 2 pm. If it starts at 1:59 pm, that’s not a late lunching violation. But if starts at 2 pm or 2:01 pm, that IS a late lunching violation and you could be entitled to a 1 hour meal break penalty for each day that happens.

  39. Alan Parkin on September 13, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Are non-except salaried workers required to take a lunch break? I want to be able to skip out work through my lunch so that I don’t have to be at work for 8.5 hours. I don’t, and won’t, make the minimum required wage to be exempt in California, but if just being salaried allowed me to not take an unpaid half hour lunch break I would choose that.

    • Eugene Lee on September 14, 2018 at 9:17 pm

      The law doesn’t prevent you from skipping meal breaks, it just prevents the employer from denying or interrupting your meal break. If you want to skip your meal break, that is actually up to your employer. Remember, your employer has the right to set your work and break schedule. If you chose to skip a break that your employer requires you to take, then the employer could rightfully discipline you. However, if your employer is ok with it, you can certainly choose to skip your meal break.

  40. sai on September 13, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    There are 12 employers at my job. my manager interrupts me on my lunch break. He tells an employee that he needs me to finish up something,so my employee goes outside and tells me my manager is looking for me. i have to stop taking my lunch, we have 3 office workers if 2 of them are sick and i am the only one left in the office my manager makes me take my lunch in the office close to the phone so i could answer it while being on my lunch. I would take my lunch outside with the phone because he has told me. he also says that we are only required to take a 10 min break every two hours because that is the California law. Other companies have 17 employees and they take a 15 min break , can someone please clarify all this information.

    • Eugene Lee on September 14, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      Sai, your employer sounds like he’s violating the break laws. Please give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to break it down for you.

  41. Anil on September 12, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    What is the rule for rest break ?
    Rest break is the break inside the office or I can go out of my office building and take a rest break.
    Can my employer force me to take the rest break inside the office building, to avoid any liability issues ?

    • Eugene Lee on September 14, 2018 at 9:18 pm

      For rest breaks, you must be allowed to leave the office. That is what the Supreme Court itself has ruled.

  42. Chelsey on September 12, 2018 at 10:22 am

    I had my hours change where I show up ay 8am, take one 10 minute break, then lunch grom 1pm-2pm. Im being told now I do t get a 2nd 10 minute break since I work from 2pm-5pm. Is this correct?

    • Eugene Lee on September 14, 2018 at 9:23 pm

      That is incorrect. Since you were on the clock over 6 hours, you must receive a second 10-minute rest break. If that isn’t happening, make a written complaint (text or email is fine) to your supervisor and/or HR that you aren’t getting your second rest break. If the employer doesn’t fix it, you should consider filing a labor board complaint.

  43. Angel on September 11, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    My employer pays me by monthly salary not by hours. they recently changed my schedule from working 8:30am-5:00. I was wondering how long of lunch break and rest break should I be receiving?

    • Eugene Lee on September 11, 2018 at 9:09 pm

      That depends on if you an exempt employee or not. If you are paid a salary, that definitely indicates that your employer thinks you are exempt. But the question is: is your employer correct? If you are properly exempt, whether you are entitled to breaks depends on what kind of exemption you fall under. We would need to know a lot more about your situation to fully answer your question. Please feel free to call us tomorrow at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to discuss it with you.

  44. Juan R. on September 11, 2018 at 10:30 am

    Yesterday i worked past 6 hours, the manager said i couldn’t take a meal break just a 10 min break. Then a week later i get written up for not taking a lunch. also when i work 4 hours they won’t give me 10 min break. Is this legal?

    • Eugene Lee on September 11, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      None of that is legal. If you work past 6 hours, you are definitely entitled to one meal break (even if you signed a waiver) and two 10-min rest breaks (rest breaks can’t be waived). The fact they wrote you up for supposedly missing your lunch break when your manager told you you couldn’t is pretty outrageous. You should consider filing a labor board complaint. Please give us a call at (213) 992-3299 and we’d be happy to help you get that started.

    • Rose on February 1, 2020 at 10:12 am

      Our management is making us a take 30 min break even if we work less than 6 hours. We work at a concert venue and most of the bartenders want to waive the break because we’d rather work and make money. We’ve asked to waive the 30 min break and they won’t let us. Originally they said we could waive a break once a week… now they say not at all. I think management just doesn’t want to deal w it. Is that legal?

      • Joshua Petrie on September 27, 2020 at 4:24 pm

        Doesn’t sound like you both want to waive the meal period, which to me is a test of if your meal break is being violated or not.

        “the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee” see also FAQ #4

    • Tisheem S People's on September 25, 2020 at 11:25 am

      How about for lunch I clocked in 10 mins later after lunch what should I do

      • Joshua Petrie on September 27, 2020 at 4:27 pm

        You will get paid 10 minutes less pay in the day, assuming you end at your normally scheduled time.

        IN: 7am
        OUT: 12pm
        IN: 12:40pm
        OUT: 3:30pm

        This is a day that will pay 7 hour, 50 minutes.

  45. Becj on September 8, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I work in a dental office and i do not get a chance to receive my 10 min break… is that ok cause i follow under the healthcare

    • Eugene Lee on September 9, 2018 at 8:21 am

      No it’s not – you must still receive your rest breaks. Employees in the health care industry who are covered by Wage Order 4 or 5 are entitled to two meal periods but can voluntarily waive one of them. This exception permits health care workers to waive meal periods even on shifts in excess of 12 hours. The employees need not be subject to a CBA, but the waiver does have to be in writing. Rest breaks, however, cannot be waived.

  46. Steffanie Mejia on September 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    i work in a spa from 12:30 om – 8:30 pm and there are times were i take early Lunch breaks at 2:30pm or 3:30pm. is that OK? i also don’t get my paid breaks, how would i go about bringing up to a manager about my rights as a pregnant front desk spa worker?

    • Eugene Lee on September 7, 2018 at 8:16 pm

      I think early lunches are fine. The problem arises if your employer isn’t allowing you to start your lunch before 5:30 pm, because that becomes a late lunch violation. As for not getting your paid rest breaks, that’s a violation, and especially concerning given you are pregnant and need those rest breaks. You should consider sending an email or text message to your employer, letting them know you aren’t getting your rest breaks. If your employer doesn’t fix the problem, you should consider filing a labor board complaint. Please feel free to give us a call at (213) 992-3299 if you want to discuss it.

  47. Xiong on September 7, 2018 at 5:35 am

    I work from 6pm till 630am we get 3 15min break and 1 30min lunch is that okay?

    • Eugene Lee on September 7, 2018 at 7:30 am

      No, not okay. You are supposed to get another 30 min lunch. Even if you signed a meal break waiver, it would not matter because your shift was over 12 hours. You should consider filing a labor board complaint

      • Joshua Petrie on January 30, 2021 at 8:00 am

        Sorry, I know this is old, but isn’t it ok because the total hours worked does not exceed 12?

        6pm to 6:30am is a 12.5 hours shift, but with a 30 minute meal break, the total hours worked is 12.

        “A second meal period of not less than thirty minutes is required if an employee works more than ten hours per day, except that if the total hours worked is no more than 12 hours, the second meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the employer and employee only if the first meal period was not waived.”

  48. Mabek Medina on September 6, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Question? I called in sick 30m before my shift and couldnt work for 2 consecutive days.. i was asked to provide a doctor note before returning to work but i don’t have medical insurance. The soonest i can see a doctor is Sept. 21… i have no job at this moment therefore no income… is this lawful?

    • Eugene Lee on September 6, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      No they probably can’t require you to produce a doctor’s note for being sick. The law doesn’t specifically address this issue. However, the Labor Board has stated that, since there’s nothing explicitly allowing employers to ask for doctors’ notes, conditioning the leave on the employee providing one “can arguably interfere with the employee’s use of paid sick leave….” The DIR says that it will analyze whether denying leave for failure to provide a note constitutes retaliation “according to the unique facts of the case.”

      So in short, I think the employer could be charged with interference or retaliation if they require a doctors note.

  49. Liretta on September 4, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    My boss thinks that if we only work 5 hrs a day and we take a 30 min lunch that we are not required to get a 10 min break that day. So we only get a lunch if we work 5 hrs is this legsl

  50. Chris on September 2, 2018 at 10:14 pm

    My employer is starting a new policy where I am expected to come in 30min earlier to my shift so I can clock out right away and go on a meal break is that legal? Sometimes I only work 4 hours a day and don’t need a break yet they still want me to arrive 30min early and clock out.

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