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

Introducción

Según la ley de descanso para comer de California (que es mucho más generosa para los empleados que la ley laboral federal), si usted es un trabajador no exento, tiene derecho a un descanso para comer de 30 minutos ininterrumpidos y libre de impuestos si trabaja más de 5 horas. en una jornada laboral. También tiene derecho a descansos ininterrumpidos de 10 minutos libres de impuestos por cada 4 horas que trabaje (o una “fracción importante” de las mismas). Si su jefe no cumple con los requisitos de la ley de descanso, debe pagarle una hora extra de pago regular por cada día en el que se haya producido una infracción del descanso para comer, y otra hora extra de pago regular por cada día en el que se haya realizado un descanso. ocurrió la violación.

Cuadro de la ley de descanso de California

Horas en el relojDescansos
0 – 3:29 horas0
3:30 – 6 horas1
6:01 – 10 horas2
10:01 – 14 horas3
14:01 – 18 horas4
18:01 – 22 horas5

Requisitos de descanso de California

  • Tu jefe debe darte un descanso de al menos 10 minutos consecutivos que sean ininterrumpidos.
  • Se deben pagar los descansos.
  • Si trabaja al menos 3,5 horas al día, tiene derecho a un descanso. Si trabaja más de 6 horas, tiene derecho a una segundo descanso. Si trabaja más de 10 horas, tiene derecho a un tercer descanso.
  • Los descansos deben, en la medida de lo posible, realizarse a mitad de cada período de trabajo. Si trabaja aproximadamente 8 horas, debe tener un descanso separado antes y después de la pausa para comer.
  • Es posible que su jefe no le exija permanecer en las instalaciones de trabajo durante sus descansos.
  • No se le puede exigir que trabaje durante los descansos requeridos. [California. Laboratorio. C.226.7]. PERO, eres libre de saltarte tus descansos siempre que tu jefe no te aliente ni te obligue a hacerlo.

Cuadro de la ley de pausas para comer de California

Horas en el relojDescansos para comer
0 – 5 horas0
5:01 – 10 horas1
10:01 – 15 horas2
15:01 – 20 horas3
20:01 –4

Requisitos de la ley de descanso para comer de California

  • Si trabaja más de 5 horas al día, tiene derecho a una pausa para comer de al menos 30 minutos que debe comenzar antes de finalizar la quinta hora de su turno. PERO, puede acordar con su jefe renunciar a este período de comida siempre que no trabaje más de 6 horas en la jornada laboral. También puedes acordar con tu jefe una pausa para comer durante el servicio que cuenta como tiempo trabajado y es remunerada.
  • Si trabaja más de 10 horas al día, tiene derecho a una segunda pausa para comer de al menos 30 minutos que debe comenzar antes de finalizar la décima hora de su turno. Puede acordar con su jefe renunciar al segundo descanso para comer si no trabaja más de 12 horas y no renunció a su primer descanso para comer.
  • Se le debe permitir tomar su descanso para comer fuera del lugar de trabajo y pasarlo como desee, ya que está fuera del horario laboral.
  • No se le puede exigir que trabaje durante ningún descanso para comer requerido. [California. Laboratorio. C. 512].
  • A partir de 2012, su jefe tiene la obligación afirmativa de garantizar que los descansos estén disponibles para usted, pero la toma real de los descansos para comer queda en manos del empleado. En otras palabras, eres responsable de “romperte” a ti mismo.

Tenga en cuenta que los descansos y los descansos para comer se supone que son separados, no deben combinarse. Su jefe no puede darle un solo descanso de 1 hora y decirle que eso cuenta como todos sus descansos y comidas.

Tenga en cuenta que existen muchas excepciones a lo anterior para determinadas industrias, como la construcción, la atención sanitaria, las viviendas colectivas, el cine, la manufactura y la panificación.

¿Puedo saltarme o renunciar a mis descansos?

Los empleadores están obligados por ley a poner a su disposición períodos oportunos para comer y descansar, pero no están obligados a obligarlo a tomarlos. Eso depende de usted como empleado. Si decide saltarse o renunciar voluntariamente a su comida o descanso, o hacerlo tarde, sin presión ni estímulo por parte del empleador, entonces eso está legalmente permitido. PERO recuerde que, según las leyes laborales de California, los empleadores tienen el derecho de establecer su horario de trabajo, incluido su horario de descanso. Si bien no están obligados a hacerlo, los empleadores tienen derecho a ordenar a los empleados que tomen sus descansos para comer y descansar. Si el empleado no cumple, el empleador tiene derecho a disciplinarlo o despedirlo por insubordinación. Por lo tanto, siempre es una buena idea discutir con su empleador de antemano su intención de saltarse o renunciar a cualquier descanso para comer o descansar, o tomarlos tarde.

¿Puedo demandar a mi empleador por violar la ley de pausas para comer y descansar de California?

Sí, puedes y deberías. Si su empleador le niega descansos y comidas, tendrá derecho a recibir una multa de 1 hora de salario por día en que se le negaron los descansos, y una multa adicional de 1 hora de salario por día en que se le negaron los descansos para comer ( con una pena máxima de hasta 2 horas de salario por día). Podemos ayudarle a presentar una Queja de la junta laboral de California. Llámanos al (213) 992-3299. Tenga en cuenta que sus reclamaciones están sujetas a plazos de presentación estrictos. Para las infracciones de las pausas para comer y descansar, el plazo de presentación generalmente se considera de 3 años gracias a una decisión reciente de la Corte Suprema de California. [Murphy contra Kenneth Cole Producciones, 40 Cal.4th 1094 (2007)], pero en ciertos casos podría aplicarse un plazo de presentación de 1 año.

Soy un trabajador asalariado exento, ¿aún puedo demandar a mi empleador?

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 abogado para ver si su situación califica para descansos.

Llamar (213) 992-3299 y comience su queja ante la Junta Laboral ahora

No dude en llamarnos al (213) 992-3299 si desea hablar sobre cómo presentar una denuncia ante la junta laboral. Hemos obtenido con éxito premios para nuestros clientes en sobre 97% de nuestros juicios y audiencias: uno de los mejores registros de juicios en el estado de California. Pongamos nuestras décadas de experiencia legal a trabajar para usted.

Foto cortesía de cjmellows

Comentarios sobre 3,419

  1. Nicole en diciembre 28, 2021 en 1:59 pm

    Would the mandatory 10-minute rest break rule apply to drivers that operate outside of California if the contracted route originated in California?

    • Raquel en enero 5, 2022 en 5:03 am

      We brealy started working today and the Manger told us now they are gonna be more strict on taking the Break so what the means that we can’t take Breaks anymore what about of we get hungry or what to use the restroom. And I told my Manger since before yesterday night I got really sick I so I couldn’t go to work yesterday so now I’m gonna to work today and I’m still sick I’ll have to be outside for my shift 1pm. – 6pm

    • Eugene Lee en abril 13, 2022 en 10:25 pm

      That really depends on a number of factors – including whether you are a resident of California, whether your wage check is issued from an office in California, etc. You really need to consult an attorney on this issue as it is quite complicated, and the law is constantly evolving regarding this issue of extraterritorial application of California labor laws.

  2. dee en diciembre 9, 2021 en 10:03 pm

    10 minutes uninterrupted mintues.. can an employer include time walking to and from break in those 10 minutes?

    For example, let’s say it takes a person 3minutes to reach their breakroom. Can the employer tell the employee they only get 4 minutes to rest before they have to start walking back?

  3. Sean T en diciembre 3, 2021 en 11:31 am

    Hi, I work for 2nd shift from 1pm to 9:30pm. Can my employer control our rest breaks time? They wanted to be 1st rest break after 3pm, meal break after 5pm and 3rd break after 7pm. I understand the meal break laws but how about rest breaks? Can they control our rest breaks? I usually go at 2:30pm, 4:30pm (meal break)and 7:30pm. It looks like they are trying to control everything!!

  4. Paulic en diciembre 3, 2021 en 12:24 am

    So I work at ups and have a situation where they don’t have to give up regular brakes, however that’s becouse we normally only work 5 hours. Now we are working 8 hours and I’m not to take time to eat. It’s a bit extreme. I also haven’t received a paycheck stub either… seems strange to me.

    • Diego en diciembre 11, 2021 en 12:58 am

      Let’s say after 5 hours employer hasn’t given you a break but gives you one after the 6th hour. Does the employer still pay the extra 1 hour?

  5. Abby en noviembre 19, 2021 en 5:04 pm

    I work for a company of chain retail stores. We often have 6-hour shifts so we skip lunch. However, sometimes they’ll schedule me to open at one store (8:30am-2:30pm) and then to close at a different store (3-8pm). Obviously I have to drive between stores, which most of the time takes nearly the whole 30 min. Am I not entitled to a real lunch break?

    • Sandra Weldon en noviembre 30, 2021 en 4:42 pm

      I would say you are entitled to lunch. The travel time to the other store should be on the clock. That would mean you are scheduled for a 12 hour shift. a 30 minute lunch is note sufficient for a 12 hour shift.

    • Rina en diciembre 28, 2021 en 10:47 pm

      Yes you are entitled to a lunch break. Driving from one store to another is still working.

  6. Erika en noviembre 18, 2021 en 9:04 pm

    Is it legal for an employer to have you sign a paper that gives them permission to clock it’s employees in and out for their 30min meal breaks? This is if the employee fails to do so, whether they do or do not take their breaks?

  7. Anthony en noviembre 10, 2021 en 11:20 am

    Is there a right way or a wrong way when you get fired

  8. Anthony en noviembre 10, 2021 en 11:16 am

    My boss tells me that when we drive to other job that’s my lunch

    • Keith Brown en noviembre 12, 2021 en 12:38 am

      No, it is not your lunch. When you are driving are you eating?? Regardless if you are, a “lunch” is an uninterrupted period of time where you are completely relieved of duty. Anything less than completely relieved of duty the entire lunch period, your employer is in violation of the labor code for lunch (meal periods) and you are owed the 1 hour meal period wage.

  9. Lizeth en noviembre 9, 2021 en 9:09 pm

    when my job gives us a full shift for example (6 am – 2:30) they make us take a 1 hour lunch, doesn’t that make my shift 7 hours ? Am I staying longer without making more money ? Can they get in trouble for making us take a 1 hour lunch ?

    • Alicia en noviembre 12, 2021 en 2:29 pm

      Hello Lizeth,

      If you are working 6am to 2:30pm with an unpaid lunch, you should be getting paid for 7:30hrs. If they had you take a half instead of the full hour, it would be the full 8hrs that you would get paid. Hope that helps.

  10. Chrystella en noviembre 9, 2021 en 7:41 am

    Is there a Law that states you MUST leave you desk for these breaks/lunch? My boss emailed stating that by California Law we have to leave our desk/department for our lunches and breaks.Now there is a new law that also states no more then 6 people together in the break room? How does this work?? If there is a law that states I cant eat my lunch at my desk i’d LOVE to see it!!

  11. Karina en noviembre 6, 2021 en 12:56 am

    I currently work on a restaurant as a server. I clocked in at 3:45pm. At 4:15pm my employer makes us to take a 30 minutes meal break. Sometimes I work overtime( 10 hours) and they don’t tell me to take another 30 minutes brake.

    • N en diciembre 12, 2021 en 1:23 pm

      My restaurant job does the same and I’m not sure what to say to them.

  12. Sandra en octubre 26, 2021 en 12:46 pm

    Can I take 2 hours lunches every other day really it’s my time right sometimes I am so stressed out I need about 2 hours just to get back

  13. Emily en octubre 22, 2021 en 9:01 am

    We have an employee who took a long lunch close to 4 hours.
    Should this employee clock out instead of meal out, then at a later time take at least a 30 min lunch break?
    I could not see the specific law regarding extended lunch. Is lunch from 30 min to an hour?
    If employees take longer lunch (1.5), is it ok?
    If longer than 2 hours, is it not ok?

  14. Payroll Wizard en octubre 19, 2021 en 2:44 pm

    Can an employee work an 8 hour shift and take their Meal Breaks accordingly plus their Paid Rest breaks after their Meal break close to the time they clock out?
    We want to prevent employees from taking their PAID REST break 15 mins before clock out time, without getting in trouble with the law?
    Any suggestions, I always understood the law to be an EMPLOYER has to provide but doesn’t have to MANDATE that employees take a PAID 10 min REST BREAK during working hours, it’s a use or lose, unlike the MEAL Break, those are mandatory or we pay a penalty…
    HELP for clarification plz???

  15. R en octubre 16, 2021 en 11:59 am

    My shift is 630am to 3pm which is 8 hours on the clock with a lunch. Does this mean my entire shift is 8 hours or 8.5 hours?

    • Manny en octubre 30, 2021 en 12:02 pm

      8, because it’s not paid.

  16. Jamie en octubre 8, 2021 en 10:13 am

    Can Correctional LEO’s be denied breaks and rest periods without compensation? Do we fall under different rules than other laborers?

    • Benjamin en octubre 25, 2021 en 4:22 am

      You could call it a on duty lunch/break. Check your master agreement.

  17. Laura en septiembre 24, 2021 en 9:01 am

    Do my exempt salary employees have to take their lunches before the 5th hour of the work day? Or is it okay they can take it at any time of their day?

  18. Zachary en septiembre 9, 2021 en 9:11 am

    Im an amazon full time warehouse worker and have been working an extra 1h30m overtime pay shift before my regular every morning. It results in 10h shifts, however I only get allowed 2 breaks and on some days I have been encouraged or downright told to take my break later than it is normally said to be scheduled for. My issue here is that amazon never sets in stone *when* the meal or rest breaks are to be taken and sometimes it can be consistent or it can vary. Am I entitled to compensation for those delayed breaks and entire missing 3rd rest break on days i have voluntarily taken on an extra 1h30m? I am given two lunch breaks so there is no issue there.

    • Zachary en septiembre 9, 2021 en 9:13 am

      To clarify, I work starting 120am if its a voluntary ovt shift, and 320am if its a normal shift. I clock out at 1150am assuming im not offered extra voluntary ovt pay work until ive hit my 12hr limit

      • Thomas Gonzalez en septiembre 22, 2021 en 3:52 pm

        Stop being a bitch, just work and stop looking for free handouts by suing. If the rest is that important to you, stop working the overtime you idiot.

        • Angelica Rodriguez en septiembre 22, 2021 en 4:31 pm

          If someone is taking on overtime, I’m sure it’s not for pleasure but a necessity. You stop being a bitch and and you work for free if you want to.

  19. Vic en septiembre 3, 2021 en 8:35 pm

    Working for a contractor in a refinery. Company forced everyone to sign a 2nd meal waiver, and to get paid the full 12 hours we must badge in at 6 and badge out at 6:30.

    This is 12.5 hours on the clock.

    Shouldn’t it be 6 to 6?

    Thanks.

    • Erik en octubre 15, 2021 en 4:19 pm

      You’re forgetting the 30min lunch, if you worked 6am – 6pm you would work 11.5 hours and have an unpaid 30min lunch.

      6am – 6:30pm gets you paid for a full 12 hr shift and includes a 30min lunch.

  20. Ellen en agosto 31, 2021 en 1:11 pm

    Is the employer responsible for checking for the meal violation and adding the meal penalty to the paycheck?

    • Payroll Wizard en octubre 19, 2021 en 2:47 pm

      Yes Ellen, The employer should have it build into the time-keeping system. ADP offers that ability.

  21. Vasant en agosto 3, 2021 en 4:40 pm

    I work gas station for 8 hours. They give form I sign for break and lunch time to wave for 8 hours work. It is legal to sign to wave for 8 hours work?

  22. Stephanie en agosto 3, 2021 en 3:18 pm

    Hi there. My son (minor) works from 4pm until usually 11:30-11:45PM (weekdays during summer). His boss makes him take lunch within an 1 – 1 1/2 hours into his shift. Is this legal?

  23. Nancee en agosto 1, 2021 en 3:24 pm

    Hi, nurse here. If I clock in at 700am and don’t get to clock out for lunch until after 12pm, then I am owed 1 hour extra pay? Our last patient before lunch leaves at a little past 12pm and we are expected to clean up after so usually get to start lunch at 12:15 earliest. Thank you.

  24. Abel en julio 29, 2021 en 9:44 pm

    I have a question. My company has a work schedule of 4 10’s shift. We clock in at 3:25pm and clock out anywhere from 2:00am – 2:10am. But our company is only giving us 2 rest breaks and 1 lunch. Is that legal cause I thought anything over 10 hrs even if it’s a minute you are suppose to get another rest break? And when we bring it up after a year of doing it. They switched to making us clock out before our 10 he mark so they don’t have to give us that extra break.

  25. J Marquez en julio 29, 2021 en 2:03 pm

    If I waive a meal break and work 9 hours that day, does my employer have to pay me for 9 hours?

    • Payroll Wizard en agosto 16, 2021 en 12:50 pm

      Yes they do, unless you were relieved from your work duties all time worked is paid. Document on the Timekeeping system, with notes, emails, etc…

    • Ralph Cole en noviembre 24, 2021 en 11:40 pm

      No. The employer is required to pay you a 1 hour extra. So if you worked 9 hours and waived lunch for their benefit, then the company must pay you 1 extra hour.

  26. Gabriel Dsouza en julio 20, 2021 en 7:09 pm

    I work for unity couriers I started at 8.45am took a meal break at 2.55 pm now they say u must take 2nd meal break I finished duty by 5.15 pm my question is why should I take 2 meal breaks in 8 hrs that does not make sense sometimes u fell hungry early can they enforce (the company) enforce it because enforcing is slavery.

  27. Ricardo Lopez en julio 19, 2021 en 12:57 pm

    Can i choose to take a 15 minute short lunch break after i worked 6 hours and clock back in and come to find out the company is taking 30 minutes out with my permission. Is this ok?

    • Joshua Petrie en julio 20, 2021 en 9:06 am

      No, you cannot take a less than 30 minute meal period if you worked more than 5 hours in a day. If your 30 minute meal period is interrupted (by you or anyone else), you are due an hour of meal break penalty pay.

      Not taking proper breaks is likely against your employer’s handbook policies, so check there as they likely can take disciplinary action against you.

      However, you and your employer can agree to waive the meal period altogether by mutual written agreement.

      In working 6 hours in a single day, you are due one 10-minute rest break. Some companies give 15 minute rest breaks.

      So, IF you have a written agreement about waiving your meal period AND your company gives 15 minute rest breaks, during that rest period your employer must relieve you of all duties and relinquish control over how you spend your time. If that’s not happening, it’s not a rest break and you are due a rest break penalty hour of pay.

      On top of all that, if they are taking 30 minutes out w/o then you may be due for up to 3 years (according to the statute of limitations for this kind of thing) of meal penalty pay, but I’m not a lawyer, just an Internet rando.

      Good luck!

    • Payroll Wizard en agosto 16, 2021 en 1:03 pm

      The only way you should waive a Unpaid Meal period is if you are working a 6 hour shift, otherwise you are required to take your meal period BEFORE the 5th hour of work when working a 8 hour shift to avoid a meal period penalty, keep in mind that some employers can discipline for multiple missed or late meal periods, especially if stated in the Company handbook that it is a violation and must have Management approval.

      EXAMPLES BELOW;

      8 HOUR SHIFT:
      Start Shift: 6AM (CLOCK IN)
      Break: 9AM (paid – Do Not clock out)
      START Meal Period: by 10:59am (Unpaid- CLOCK OUT)
      Break 1PM (paid – Do Not clock out)
      End Shift: 3PM (CLOCK OUT)

      6 HOUR SHIFT:
      Start shift: 6am (CLOCK IN)
      Break: 9am (paid – Do not clock out)
      End Shift: 12pm (CLOCK OUT)

      Hope this helps as well as the examples above…

  28. Melody Lee en julio 18, 2021 en 8:28 am

    I work in a dental practice where the new manager just decided Hygiene staff wouldn’t be paid if there is an 8:00, 11:00, 1:00, or 4:00 cancellation. Lunch is at noon, so recently I was forced to take a 3hour (unpaid) lunch. Is that legal? Also, I caught the manager calling patients to move them in order to create this “long lunch” situation. How does that figure in?

  29. Helen en julio 8, 2021 en 3:11 pm

    At my job I usually work 5-6 hour shifts and have never once been given a break, not even a 10 minute break. When I work over 6 hours they go into the system and add a 30 minute unpaid break that I never took so they Don’t get in trouble. What should I do?

    • Joshua Petrie en julio 20, 2021 en 10:13 am

      The statute of limitations is 3 years, so decide if it’s worth it to reach out to Eugene on this website and take your employer to court. This site also has a chat feature, which you can talk to someone when they’re online. Good luck!

  30. Cherise Black en julio 6, 2021 en 7:53 am

    Hi, so my question is for fellow nurses who work 12hr shifts. Their manager is telling them she will not pay “missed meals” because our policy is vague and says they have till the 11th hour to take their lunch because they signed a waiver. The waiver they all signed is to waive their second meal break and states, “on the days I work a shift in excess of ten hours, I hereby waive one of the two meal periods I would otherwise be entitled to receive each workday under California law. I understand that if I do not provide direct patient care or work in a clinical or medical department and I work a shift in excess of ten hours but less than twelve hours, I may waive my second meal period only, and therefore must take my first meal period before the start of my sixth hour of work.” Is this legal to make 12hr staff wait till 11th hour and not be paid for missed meals?

    • Joshua Petrie en julio 20, 2021 en 10:35 am

      The wording is vague, but also specific, oddly enough…

      It both states, “I hereby waive ONE OF THE TWO meal periods” which is vague but it also states, “I may waive my SECOND MEAL PERIOD ONLY, and therefore MUST TAKE MY FIRST MEAL PERIOD before the start of my sixth hour of work.”

      So, according to both of those together, and to skip the 2nd meal, 12 hours of paid work must look something like this:
      In: 6 am
      Rest 1: paid 10 minutes break somewhere in between
      Out: 11 am
      Meal 1: (assuming 1 hr lunch, but could be as little as 30min)
      In: 12 pm
      Rest 2: paid 10 minutes break somewhere in between
      (Meal 2 would be due by 5pm, but may be waived)
      Rest 3: paid 10 minutes break somewhere in between
      Out: 7 pm (cannot exceed 12 hours of work if 2nd meal period was skipped)

      • Amber en septiembre 1, 2021 en 7:23 pm

        I’ve never been a salary employee before and when they hired me they stressed taking two 15 min breaks and at LEAST a 30 min lunch. I’ve been there 2 weeks and have been denied all breaks and lunch every day (I’ve been out on a job and said…it’s been 7 hours I need to grab a quick bite and have been told no). We work 7-4:30, so 9.5 hours. I have brought it up but am just waived off and told we don’t have time for breaks/lunch. Is this legal?

        • Nori Day en diciembre 6, 2021 en 2:20 pm

          Absolutely not legal! If I were you, i would get a little notebook, record every day your exact times of work, and what time you asked for a break, and were denied- also, who exactly denied you, and their exact words. You are owed an hour of pay for every missed meal break.

  31. Jonathan en julio 3, 2021 en 2:45 pm

    I only work a 6 hour shift. Can my employer make it mandatory that I take an hour break? I really need the money but that’s what he does. I would like to just take a 30 minute break or waive it all together, but I was told I wouldn’t get paid for it. Is that allowed?

    • Eugene Lee en julio 3, 2021 en 2:49 pm

      Hi Jonathan, the employer has the right to set your daily work and breaks schedule. That includes when and how long your meal break is. A 1-hour mandatory meal break is legal. While the employer may agree with you to waive your meal break, but the employer does not have to agree to it.

  32. Joshua Petrie en junio 27, 2021 en 11:59 am

    Does an “on duty” meal trigger the meal penalty as well? For ex:

    In: 8am
    Out: 2pm
    Hours worked: 6

    Are 6 or 7 hours of pay expected?

  33. Jay L. en junio 26, 2021 en 10:53 am

    Can your CA employer tell you when to take your lunch break? For example: Retail store tells you that you must take lunch at the 3 hour mark of your shift regardless of the length of your total work hours for that day.

    • Joshua Petrie en junio 27, 2021 en 11:52 am

      Yes, employers are allowed to dictate an employee’s work schedule including the timing of rest & meal breaks.

  34. Jose A en junio 14, 2021 en 8:25 pm

    If an emplyee, leavs for break, drives off the the dellie on company time, can he get in trouble

  35. question en junio 12, 2021 en 2:11 pm

    We have to work open to close usually 10 hrs on the clock and we are usually on our own, we are told that we cant leave the store for our breaks since we are alone, is that something that they can enforce?

  36. Rae en junio 11, 2021 en 10:32 am

    I have a question. If I worked into my 6th hour due to a deadline and didn’t take my lunch break until later. Is my employer required to pay me the meal penalty of 1 hour? Is my employer also allowed to say “they did not approve me to work into my 6th hour” to deny payment of the 1-hour meal penalty?

  37. Hunter en junio 5, 2021 en 4:23 pm

    Hi, thanks for all this great info!
    If my employer is requiring me to take my lunch only 1hr after arriving, is this legal? Is there some limit to how soon I’m forced to take break. They’re doing it because they don’t have coverage — only one person on shift except all night for first hr of overlap when I just arrived and am forced to take lunch break (30 mins).
    Thank you for any feedback!

    • Joshua Petrie en junio 6, 2021 en 1:34 pm

      A rest break must be taken before the meal break, as I understand it from other information on this site. I’m guessing if that doesn’t happen then you’re owed a rest break penalty hour of pay.

      But I don’t think there’s anything illegal about having the meal break 1hr in to a shift.

  38. Brittany en mayo 18, 2021 en 6:11 pm

    Is it legal for my boss to require that all my breaks be “on-duty” and that I am expected to to work regardless if I am on break or not. Note I do receive a paid lunch due to having to be on-duty however I never receive the rest breaks uninterrupted at the time they should be; I’m expected to take them when I can get them which it is rare that I am not having to do something for my job

  39. Christopher K. en mayo 18, 2021 en 4:00 pm

    Hola,

    I am working part time of 6 hours per day, Monday through Friday, through an employment agency. I wasn’t given a choice but was told that I would get a break of 10 minutes during my 6 hour day and no lunch break. Although not paid for lunch break, I rather have time to get some food in my stomach. I am 5’7 and only weigh 115 lbs. So, I need to eat often as possible. What should I do? Do I need to bring this up to my agency or the company I am assigned to? I am afraid to bring this up because of possible retaliation.

    Thank you for your anticipated help.

    • Joshua Petrie en junio 6, 2021 en 1:30 pm

      I believe you need to agree to a 6 hour shift because the meal break is due at 5 hours. “the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of both the employer and employee” https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_MealPeriods.htm

      If you don’t agree, they have to give you meal break, or pay you a penalty hour (statute of limitations is 3 years; take copious notes on your ins and outs).

      But to work within a 6 hour shift, you’d need to bring food to eat on your 10 min. break. And maybe find times where you can have a snack bar or something of that nature during work.

      Good luck!

  40. Maria Elena Centeno en mayo 11, 2021 en 12:18 am

    I ve a couple ? Can employer not pay over time because your job starts at 7pm and you dont finish the job till 6:30 am the next day i took a 1/2 hr lunch and 2 ten min beaks they say no overtime cause its 2 different days…and how bout start a job at 8pm to 3:15 am by the time we leave store i get home around 4am to leave 6 amto another job loation same company to stsrt 6:30 am till about 10:45 am how is my pay calculated

  41. C en mayo 7, 2021 en 5:15 pm

    I clocked In at 4:30pm and my lunch break is at 5pm. I will work a full shift and won’t get off until 12am. Is this allowed?

    • Joshua Petrie en mayo 9, 2021 en 8:23 pm

      I think it technically is, but I there might be something wrong with the timing if there’s no rest break before the meal break, as I currently understand it.

  42. Sonia E Howard en mayo 3, 2021 en 9:03 pm

    I have a question;
    can my employer make me take 1 1/2 lunch so they don’t pay me OT? I am only working 8 hours.

  43. Nathan Drake en mayo 1, 2021 en 3:07 pm

    As an hourly employee, if I work overtime past the 10th hour but not more than 12 hours, is it my right to waive a 2nd lunch?

    The office manager insists that I clock out for the 2nd lunch after 10 hours but I have a feeling that she’s just trying to save the company 30 minutes of overtime pay.

    • Joshua Petrie en mayo 7, 2021 en 8:55 pm

      Waiving has to be mutually agreed upon.

      Employer is (or their agents, I assume, are) in charge of the schedule and when breaks are meant to happen.

      • Ron en mayo 22, 2021 en 2:38 pm

        Yes you have to take lunch after 10 hours, if you waive the lunch your employer is penalized and must pay you an additional hour

        • Joshua Petrie en junio 6, 2021 en 1:36 pm

          No, if both employer and employee agree to waive the meal period, there is no penalty pay. To waive the meal period due at 10 hours, the 1st meal period must not have been waived.

          https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_MealPeriods.htm

          If both parties did not agree and the 10th hour is passed, then a meal penalty is due.

          • John101 en junio 26, 2021 en 7:41 pm

            Can a boss count a long bathroom visit as 2 breaks.

  44. Stacy en abril 26, 2021 en 7:35 pm

    What about in a service industry such as HVAC? Technicians are scheduled jobs throughout the day and sometimes they get “stuck” on a job at a customers home which prevents them from leaving to take their lunch. Are they considered exempt? Is the company penalized for the tech not leaving a customers home to eat and then come back? This is not healthy customer service and just upsets the customers. Even at best scheduling practices, technicians run into issues that may keep them on a repair longer than expected, thus missing the 5 hour mark. What does a company do in this case? Thank you in advance.

  45. Leo en abril 24, 2021 en 7:30 am

    The executive director of my job wants all of us to clock in and out for our 10 min break when we only work 5 hours or so. Is this legal i must know because she has told us in the meeting as well yet is not in the work handbook about clocking in and out for our 10 min.

    • Joshua Petrie en abril 26, 2021 en 12:25 pm

      I don’t know how your org is technologically setup, but at my place we have to hit “take a break” but we are paid for the break according to CA labor law. If you are not being paid for your breaks, I think you may want to have a conversation with your HR and/or a lawyer.

    • E en abril 30, 2021 en 7:00 pm

      My manager is forcing employees to work 6 days a week, week days 14 hours and Saturday with 8 hours.. and he tells employees that if they don’t work these overtime hours, some temps are not going to get hire
      ¿Es esto legal?

  46. William Johnson en abril 22, 2021 en 2:37 pm

    We employee around 25 full-time, hourly employees in California, who work between 8-10 hours a day, five days a week. They are all given a minimum 30 minute lunch break as well as two 15-min breaks during the day. My question is, can an employee and employer agree on the times of these breaks? Some employees want to take their lunch after working 3 hours, while others want to wait until they have been working 6 or 7 hours. I had heard their lunch needed to be completed within 5 hours, but if it’s the employees’ choice and the employer allows it, is it still a violation? As an employer, we want to accommodate our employee requests, but also don’t want to get in trouble later. Thoughts or advice?

    • Joshua Petrie en abril 22, 2021 en 9:54 pm

      In my opinion (as an Internet bystander) is that everyone should protect themselves by doing what is right according to the labor law.

      Meals are due before the end of the fifth hour, so if someone works past that, a meal penalty (an extra hour of pay) is due. If you’re good paying that extra hour to accommodate requests, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. But if you don’t pay the meal penalty, there is a statute of limitations of 3 years that you could be liable for.

      To your first question, the employer dictates the schedule, but it can be agreed with an employee that they would waive the meal period if they do not work more than 6 hours total in the workday.

      Also, if you want to accommodate early lunch requests, that is cool too, so long as the rest breaks are still present in between clock in or out events.

      Ex:
      In: 6am
      Break (paid time): 10 or more min at 8am
      Out: 9am (unpaid meal break) [early, at 3 hours]
      In: 9:30am
      Break (paid time): 10 or more min at at 1pm
      Out: 2:30pm
      Total on-the-clock hours of pay due: 8 hours

      One thing I’m not clear on is if the 5 hour rule can be broken by an early meal. So, if we extended the above example to end at 4:30 that’d be 10 hours of work, but the final leg would be 7 hours long with only a rest break… that seems wrong to me, but I haven’t found anything detailing that particular scenario. Maybe Eugene can chime in.

      • William Johnson en abril 28, 2021 en 2:58 pm

        Thanks Joshua, and I agree with your comments, but I am still wondering if an employee and employer can mutually agree that an employee could take their lunch break beyond their first 5 hours of the day (100% the employee’s choice that the employer agrees to). It would never be waived, just delayed to a later time in their shift. Some employees simply like to eat later, or meet friends at a later time, etc. and we wish to accommodate, if allowed.

        Eugene (or anyone with specific knowledge of the answer) can you please chime in?

        Thanks!

        • Joshua Petrie en abril 29, 2021 en 12:39 pm

          Devil’s advocate for a moment: If you and your employee agree to this, what is to stop them from later on down the road disagreeing with it and finding out that they are entitled to 3 years worth of penalty pay because your agreement does not override the DLSE’s rulings on the timing of meal breaks?

          And if the employer has an avenue to prevent an employee from taking meals at proper times, isn’t that wrong?

          Rather than answer any question on how can an employer get away with doing the wrong thing and not pay for it, here is the opposite question and answer:

          Q. How does an employer satisfy its obligation to provide a meal period according to the law?

          A.
          An employer is not required to ensure that no work is performed. However, 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. (For employees in the health care industry covered by IWC Orders 4 or 5, however, minor exceptions exist as to the employee’s right to leave the employment premises during an off-duty meal period.) Employers may not undermine a formal policy of providing meal periods by pressuring employees to perform their duties in ways that omit breaks (e.g., through a scheduling policy that makes taking breaks extremely difficult). As the California Supreme Court has noted, “The wage orders and governing statute do not countenance an employer’s exerting coercion against the taking of, creating incentives to forego, or otherwise encouraging the skipping of legally protected breaks.” Which particular facts in any given case will satisfy the employer’s obligation to provide bona relief from all duty may vary from industry to industry. See Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court (2012) 53 Cal.4th 1004.

          from https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_MealPeriods.htm

          • William Johnson en mayo 12, 2021 en 3:14 pm

            The agreement would be in writing and state what I said…. it’s the employee’s desire to change the timing of their lunch break. That’s it. We (the employer) are simply trying to accommodate an employees request. We aren’t trying to “prevent” anything. The breaks would still be uninterrupted, at least 30min, etc.

            This question is not intended to look for some loophole in the system, we are simply trying to find out if we can help an employee who wants to eat later!

            • Joshua Petrie en junio 6, 2021 en 1:39 pm

              Without re-reading what we both wrote last month, why would you want to open yourself to risk of being in violation of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement rule of the meal period timings?

              If you really want to help your employee, give them the proper meal period and let them eat when they want.

    • Laura en mayo 29, 2021 en 2:40 am

      Wow you sound like a great boss. Have a great day.

  47. Harley en abril 7, 2021 en 12:22 pm

    I work outside in construction in Palm Springs. It gets incredibly hot, so we start as early as we can. All of my fellow employees do not want to take lunch breaks as it causes more physical strain than just working through our 8 with breaks included. Sitting somewhere for 30 minutes cooling down, only to have to get back up and out into the sun is incredibly taxing and pushes the end of our day further into the hottest part of the day. Why in the “land of the free” are we forced into taking a lunch break? It should be my right to choose, is there absolutely no way to protect myself and my employer so we aren’t forced into this?

    • Joshua Petrie en abril 8, 2021 en 1:22 pm

      I lived in the Coachella Valley for 30 years and regularly saw workers taking breaks at 9am. I just assumed that was a sort of universal time to “lunch” in that industry.

      That being said, I do see your point that it gets so hot (for me, every degree above 100 is like 10 degrees above 100), but when I worked in paint we had water breaks and meal breaks as normal. I wouldn’t want it any other way, but that’s me.

      So, here’s what I’d point out to answer your question: “An ‘on duty’ meal period will be permitted only when the nature of the work prevents the employee from being relieved of all duty and when by written agreement between the employer and employee an on-the-job meal period is agreed to.”*

      But also, “If your employer fails to provide the required meal [break] period, you are to be paid one hour of pay at your regular rate of compensation (this is referred to as meal period premium pay) for each workday that the meal period is not provided.”*

      So, if you worked an 8 hour day, you’d get 9 hours of pay for not having 30 minutes of no work.

      * https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_MealPeriods.htm

  48. Cheyenne Warren en marzo 27, 2021 en 3:16 pm

    I work in a grocery store and I tend to work a total of 6-7 hours 6 days a week. I’ve been working here for 3 years so far and I’m now questioning how I’ve been being treated as other people are telling me I’m being mistreated. One can they make me work 6 days a week only giving me one day off each week. And second of all they give me my break at my 1 1/2 hour for 10 mins then tell me I need to take my lunch at my 2 1/2-3 hour of work so that they don’t have to worry about breaks and lunches later. Our lunches are 30 mins and then we don’t receive any additional breaks after our lunch is done. Is this kind of treatment legal or even fair.

    • Joshua Petrie en marzo 28, 2021 en 6:54 pm

      The employer sets the schedule and (as I understand it) is in charge of sending you on breaks.

      Rest breaks, in general, need to be in between clocking in and meal breaks or meal breaks and clocking out.

      One: Yes, they can even ask you to work a 7th day, but you’d be automatically starting on OT if that happened: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_overtime.htm

      Two: This is almost all right, but I believe you’re due a second rest break. The rest period is based on the total hours worked daily and must be at the minimum rate of a net ten consecutive minutes for each four hour work period, or major fraction* thereof.” (*anything more than two hours, unless the total hours worked in a day are less than 3.5) https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_restperiods.htm

      Because of two, I’d open a dialogue through HR and see what can be done. The statute of limitations on this stuff is supposed to be 3 years.

  49. Dori en marzo 21, 2021 en 8:32 pm

    My boyfriend mostly works 5-6 hour shifts but sometimes when the store has to close later with no warning, he works 7 hours straight. And whenever that happens, his manager fixes the time sheet so that he doesn’t get overtime for the meal violation. Who should he contact if this continues?

  50. Mo Velasquez en marzo 18, 2021 en 8:12 am

    My wife recently started a new job as an Assisted Living Specialist and she was asked to sign a piece of paper that essentially gives up her right to lunch or uninterrupted breaks. She works 8-9 shifts and has to sneak in lunches between clients. She is also scheduled by management with back-to-back clients and not afforded any break time in between. I think this is illegal, but I don’t know if, by making her sign a contract, they’ve protected themselves.

Deja una respuesta Cancelar respuesta