Employers Must Provide Employees With Meal and Rest Periods in California.

Employers often schedule employees to work eight (8) hour days alone in various industries without scheduling another worker to relieve the employee for meal and/or rest periods.  For example, it is common for employers to schedule an employee for eight (8) hour shifts without scheduling another person to relieve the employee for a 10 minute rest period and/or 30 minute rest period.

Meal and Rest Periods: The California Law Explained

California Labor Code § 226.7 makes it a violation of California law for an employer to fail to provide an employee with meal and rest periods during work shifts.  In fact, Labor Code § 226.7 provides the following protections for employees:

  • Rest Periods – An employer must provide an employee with a 10-minute rest period for every 4 hours of work; and
  • Meal Periods – An employer must provide an employee with a 30-minute meal period for every 5 hours of work.  During a 10 hour workday, an employer must provide an employee with at least two 30-minute meal periods.

Statute of Limitations

An employee is entitled to sue an employer for violation Labor Code § 226.7 going back three-years.  Also, an employee can extend the statute of limitations to four-years if he or she brings a claim for Unlawful Business Practices under California Business and Professions Code § 17200, et seq.

Potential Damages

If a judge or jury determines that an employer has violated Labor Code § 226.7, an employee is entitled to up to one hour of pay for each occasion that an employer failed to provide a meal and/or rest period.

Meal and Rest period violations are difficult to prove and often require substantial investigation.  Therefore, it is important to hire an experienced Employment Law Lawyer to investigate an employee’s claim of violation of Labor Code § 226.7.  The Law Offices of provides an experienced Employment Law Lawyer to assist employees with meal and rest period violations claims.  Contact the firm at its toll free number today for your free consultation.

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