If you work in California, you may wonder if you have the right to take a lunch break during your shift. The answer is, in most cases, yes, but there are some exceptions and conditions that you should understand. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Los Angeles wage & hour lawyer from RD Law Group to learn more about the California laws and regulations that govern lunch breaks, how they may affect you as an employee, and how our firm can help if you believe you’ve been wrongfully denied a lunch break. Here are some of the questions you may have:
What is a lunch break?
A lunch break is a period of time during your workday when you are relieved of all your duties and are free to eat, rest, or do essentially whatever you want, such as run an errand or two. A lunch break is also known as a meal period or a meal break. Lunch breaks are an important part of recharging a worker’s batteries, so to speak, and if you are wrongfully denied a lunch break, you should understand that you have rights, and our firm can help protect those rights.
How long is a lunch break in the state of California?
In the state of California, employers are required, under the law, to provide employees with a half-hour, uninterrupted lunch break for every five hours worked. So, for example, if you work from 8:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the afternoon, the law requires you to take a half-hour lunch break at some point during your shift. You should also note that employers are required to give employees a 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked.
What if my employer refuses to give me a break that I’m entitled to?
If your employer does not give you a lunch break or violates any of the rules or regulations regarding lunch breaks, such as interrupting your break halfway through and requiring you to go back to work, or retaliating against you for exercising your right to a lunch break, you may be entitled to compensation, as well as having your wage and hour claim fee and attorney fees covered.
According to the California Labor Code, your employer must pay you one extra hour of pay for each day that you did not receive a proper lunch break. This is known as a meal period premium. If your right to a lunch break or 10-minute rest period has been violated by your employer, you should consult a seasoned employment lawyer who can file a claim to help you recover the compensation you deserve. RD Law Group is here to help. All you need to do is give us a call or contact us online so we can get started working on your case.