Whether an employer is forcing you to work through lunch, is not letting you take breaks, or is not paying you for breaks, you need to understand your legal rights and options. Alan Burton Newman, Los Angeles employment law attorney, has the courtroom-tested insights you deserve to have on your side. Get in touch with him today to schedule your free consultation.
When you need a wage and hour lawyer in LA with the experienced, dedication, and powerhouse advocacy needed to fully assert your rights, you can rely on Mr. Newman to deliver. Don’t hesitate to see how you can protect your rights!
California mandates paid breaks in addition to a meal break. In short, you’re supposed to get a 30 minute break for meals after you have worked for five hours. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these breaks are unpaid. Additionally, every 4 hours an employee should get a 10 minute rest or smoke break—these must be paid for by the employer. These rules will vary depending on how many hours you work in a day. But if you are going uncompensated for breaks or are not allowed to take your allotted breaks, then your employer is violating state labor laws and may also be breaking federal regulations.
In the state of California, your boss must give you adequate rest and meal breaks. This includes an unpaid meal break of at least 30 minutes if you are working five hours a day or more. If you are working 10 hours a day or more, you are entitled to two 30-minute meal breaks. During this meal break, the law entitles you to leave the property or to do anything that you like. This meal break is “free time.” This means that your employer cannot stop you from leaving your place of work—for example, if you want to use your meal break to meet a friend for lunch, get your oil changed, or workout at the gym. Your meal break must also be uninterrupted. Your boss can’t ask you to work halfway through your break and then take the rest of the break later.
For every four hours you work, the law entitles you to a 10-minute rest break. Whether you want to use this time to smoke, eat a snack, grab a cup of coffee, go for a walk, read, or call a loved one, is entirely up to you.
If you had the opportunity to take your meal breaks and / or rest breaks but chose not to, you do not have grounds for a lawsuit. If, however, your employer prevented, threatened, or punished you for taking your lawful breaks, you may be able to file a claim. If your boss ignored the law, you are entitled to compensation for each missed meal break as well as one hour of pay at your regular rate, for every violation. In some cases where your boss forced you to work through your meal breaks, you may have accumulated unpaid overtime hours by working more than 40 hours per week. Speak with our LA employment attorney about your case, and the justice you deserve.
You can learn more about California mea and rest break laws on our FAQ page.
Alan Burton Newman is an attorney for unpaid wages in Los Angeles who has successfully represented employees against big corporations and agencies, including ABC, DreamWorks, General Motors, and the LAPD. When you need a powerhouse legal advocate who gets results, you can count on our us to handle your claim for a violation of rest or meal periods in California.
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