The site of my meeting on Oak Street, in Bakersfield, with multiple plaintiffs today who worked in a boiler room and were denied meal and rest breaks.
Nonexempt California employees are entitled to one 10 minute rest break, generally before their meal break, and one after their meal break. The rest breaks should be uninterrupted. The employee should be able to leave the employer’s premises. Employees must be free of any work responsibility during their rest breaks. They should not be required to answer their cell phone, or a paging device.
Employees can chose to take rest break at their desk, or in their vehicle. If the employee relieves themselves from work for 10 minutes that counts as a rest break. Rest breaks do not have to be taken in a break room, or off premises if the employee does not want to. Employees do not have to clock out for rest breaks. If you have questions about whether you can sue for a rest break, please call our office at 661-412-9600.
Nonexempt California employees are entitled to a 30 minute uninterrupted meal break before their 5th hour of work. Nonexempt employees who work less than 6 hours per shift can waive their meal breaks. The penalties for preventing an employee from taking a full uninterrupted meal break before their 5th hour of work includes either one hour of pay at regular wages, or minimum wage. The fact an employee worked through a meal break may cause their total hours worked per day to go over 8 thereby causing overtime.
Not allowing employees to take meal breaks can also lead to a $100 penalty per pay period this occurs. If the employee is no longer employed, and they have not been paid for missed meal breaks the employee is owed 1 day of pay up to 30 days. With all civil penalties there is a possibility an arbitrator or court will find the circumstances do not warrant the full civil penalty, or any civil penalty.
The Employment Lawyers Group has recovered millions of dollars for California employees denied meal and rest breaks. We have represented single individuals, multiple individuals suing as a group, class actions, and PAGA actions due to meal break violations. We have also tried cases in court and in binding arbitration involving meal and rest breaks. There are specific methods of proving meal and rest break cases, and pitfalls we are aware of. We can provide an honest assessment whether it is worth bringing a case for meal and rest break violations.
START THE ROAD TOWARDS RECOVERING PAY FOR MEAL AND REST BREAKS CALL OUR EXPERIENCED WAGE & HOUR LAWYERS AT 661-412-9600