Nonexempt employees are entitled to an uninterrupted 30 minute lunch break before the 5th hour of their shift ends. They are also entitled to a second meal break if they work more than ten hours. If you have questions what nonexempt means, or whether you are nonexempt please contact us at 661-412-9600. If a meal break is interrupted, or given too late in the shift the employer must pay the employee one hour of pay at their regular rate of pay. Regular rates of pay including piece rate pay and added for based upon guaranteed bonuses.

Some employers attempt to have their employees sign meal break waivers. It is a complex legal problem for an experienced wage lawyer whether a meal break waiver is valid. Please contact our experienced wage attorneys if you have not been paid for missed meal breaks, and you were forced to sign a meal break waiver.

sue for missed meal breaks

Situations with unpaid lunch breaks may involve off-the-clock work. This occurs when the employer makes the employee clock out as if they took a 30 minute meal break, but they continue to work. Our meal break violation lawyers have won cases in which employees are clocked out for meal breaks and/or forced to falsely sign that they took their meal breaks. Although there were other issues in a trial we did, there was a total of $300,000 in compensation for three employees who were forced to sign that they took rest breaks they were prevented from taking. Fact finders may view these situations as especially egregious on the part of the employer. The standard for a meal break violation is the employee must be prevented from taking the meal break.


Unless an employee has missed virtually all of their meal breaks, worked at the employer for years, and makes a relatively high salary it may be infeasible to bring a meal break lawsuit for only one employee. If the damages for missed meal breaks are low, because we are in the field, our firm can make a referral to a smaller firm. If the meal break lawsuit is coupled with a failure to allow rest breaks that may be enough. Moreover, many meal break violation causes of action are added into employee lawsuits for other issues such as various unpaid wages including overtime, wrongful termination, or sexual harassment.

Find out if you have a meal break violation case we can take.

CALL 661-412-9600 today
and let our meal break lawyers start asking you the right questions

Group and class actions for meal break violations are powerful ways to collect the maximum amount of money for unpaid meal breaks. Our firm has been able to collect large amounts of money when small meal break cases are brought by multiple employees.

Our meal break case results include:

• $800,000 for 8 employees who missed meal and rest breaks, but were also owed overtime & PAGA penalties

• $400,000 for 5 employees in a won binding arbitration about unpaid meal and rest breaks and off-the-clock work while clocked out for meal breaks

• $360,000 for three employees with meal break and rest break violations violations who also filed PAGA charges

• $150,000 paid to one employee who did not get rest breaks and $50,000 to a PAGA group for missed rest breaks

• Multiple cases in which groups of employees clear $10,000 a piece after attorney fees when they sue for meal and rest breaks worth $3,000-$5,000

Our class action results for meal break cases include:

• $800,000 for missed meal and rest breaks

• $750,000 for missed meal and rest breaks


California meal break law begins in the California Labor Code. California Wage Orders also deal with employee rights to meal breaks. Different Wage Orders apply to different industries. Some wage orders have different rules for meal breaks. There is also case law on meal breaks including several important California Supreme Court cases. Amongst other things, there are exceptions for truckers and persons who take care of disabled people at their residences. Rather than trying to figure out what the law is on meal breaks, we suggest you just pick up the phone and call 661-412-9600. We only represent employees on a contingency which means we are only paid when and if we can collect money from the employer. All calls are confidential.

California meal break law assumes there is an employment relationship. If the relationship has been misclassified meal break laws apply. Some of our largest cases involving meal breaks involving mis-classified employees. Although the case had other issues, one person received $350,000 in a Bakersfield case we brought for only one employee. In another California case, eight people received $800,000. The ability to settle or collect does, however, depend on the size and economic ability of the employer.

Our meal break lawyers have handled hundreds of meal break cases. When you contact our firm let them ask the right questions. We will steer the conversation in a legally relevant matter while being cognizant of your time. Be prepared to make estimates about how many meal breaks you missed per week. You don’t need a log, but you need to be able to make reasonable estimates that you stick with throughout the case.

Offices in Bakersfield, Sherman Oaks, Downtown Los Angeles, Torrance, Oxnard, Tustin, Riverside, and Ontario. Only Representing employees