Focused on getting our clients the compensation they need...

The Support You Need. The Settlement You Deserve.

Revoked Rest Break Violations in California

Like most California employees, you spend a large majority of your time at work. No matter what type of job you have, work can be exhausting. In order to keep workers fresh and productive, California law gives you and other employees the right to take rest breaks during your workday.

However, rest break violations are a common issue in many workplaces, and they can have serious consequences for both employees and employers.

Maison Law Protects California Workers From Rest Break Violations

If you have experienced rest break violations or have witnessed them in your workplace, it’s important to take action. At Maison Law, our team of experienced California employment lawyers will help you stand up for your workplace rights and report violations.

With our support and guidance, we can help ensure that your employer is held accountable for following the law and providing you and other employees with the rest and break periods you need to stay healthy and productive. To learn more about your options, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Are the California Laws Regarding Rest Breaks?

Under the California Labor Code (CLC), all employees are entitled to rest breaks based on the number of hours they work. These laws are designed to

  • Rest breaks for hourly employees – Hourly (non-exempt) employees who work at least 3.5 hours per day are entitled to a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked. The rest break should be provided as close to the middle of the four-hour work period as possible. If the total work period is less than three and a half hours, no rest break is required.
  • Payment for rest breaks – Rest breaks are considered hours worked, and therefore, employees must be paid for the time spent taking a rest break.
  • Timing of rest breaks – Employers must allow employees to take rest breaks as close to the middle of the four-hour work period as possible. Employers cannot require employees to take rest breaks before or after a meal break.
  • Penalties – If an employer fails to provide a rest break as required by law, they may be liable for one additional hour of pay for each workday in which a rest break violation occurred. This penalty is known as “premium pay.”

While the CLC provides protections for most California employees, it’s important to understand that the laws surrounding rest breaks in California can be complex, and there are some exceptions to the general rules. Usually, these exceptions apply to certain types of industries and jobs.

What Are the Exceptions to California’s Rest Break Laws?

While most employees are covered by the legal protections regarding rest breaks outlined in the Labor Code, there are some exceptions and special circumstances that may apply. Here are a few of the most common exceptions to California’s rest break laws:

  • Emergency situations – In some cases, an employer may need to interrupt a rest break in order to respond to an emergency or to ensure the safety of employees.
  • On-duty meal periods – In certain situations, an employee may be required to take an on-duty meal period, during which they must be allowed to take a rest break. However, strict rules apply to on-duty meal periods, and they are not allowed in all industries.
  • Exempt employees – Some employees may be considered exempt from California’s rest break laws, including salaried executive, administrative, or professional employees. However, the rules regarding exemptions are complex, and employers may need to meet certain requirements to classify an employee as exempt.
  • Collective bargaining agreements – In some cases, a collective bargaining agreement between a union and an employer may specify different rest break requirements.

It’s important to note that these exceptions and special circumstances may not apply in all situations, and employers are still required to comply with California’s rest break laws to the greatest extent possible. Despite these laws being in place, employers will still sometimes try to get around them.

Revoking Rest Break Violations in California

There are a variety of different reasons why your employer will try to get around providing rest breaks during the workday. While some are legitimate, when an employer tries to take away or not provide rest breaks, it is likely against the law. Given these circumstances, here are some of the more common reasons that employers revoke rest breaks:

  • Retaliation – When you or another employee voices concerns about workplace rights being violated or some other illegal activity, your employer may retaliate against you by revoking your rest breaks.
  • Discrimination – Like other forms of discrimination, your employer can’t revoke rest breaks for you or other employees based on protected characteristics, such as age, race, color, national origin, or disability.
  • Wage theft – One of the most common forms of illegal revoking of rest breaks happens when employers do so to avoid paying employees for their time worked or to manipulate their paychecks.
  • Unlawful business practices – An employer may not revoke rest breaks as a way to save money or increase productivity if doing so violates California labor laws. For example, an employer may not revoke rest breaks to avoid paying overtime or to require employees to work more hours without adequate compensation.
  • Violation of employment contract or CBA – If an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) guarantees rest breaks, an employer may not revoke or change the terms of the agreement without following proper procedures and obtaining employee consent.

If your employer is found to have revoked rest breaks for illegal reasons, the law provides the ability to take legal action against them to recover the lost wages or other damages. If you believe your employer has revoked your rest breaks for illegal reasons, working with our team of employment lawyers can guide you through this process.

Legal Options For Rest Break Violations in California

Because rest breaks are legally mandated in California, you have the option to take legal action when your employer violates the law and doesn’t provide them to you. This process can be complex and challenging, but working with our team of experienced employment lawyers can be a huge help. We can provide you with a clear picture of your options and the process for recovering these lost wages.

Generally, there are two options for recovering wages after your employer illegally revokes your rest breaks in California:

  • Filing a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s Office – The first step in the process usually involves filing an administrative complaint with the Labor Commissioner’s Office. Specifically, the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) is responsible for applying the law in California workplaces, which includes rest break violations. By filing a complaint, you not only put your employer on notice, but the DLSE investigates your claim and can rule that your employer violated the law and must repay you.
  • Filing a lawsuit – After the complaint process with the DLSE wraps up, you can also file a lawsuit in civil court. Depending on the circumstances, you could have a claim for unpaid wages and, potentially, retaliation or discrimination. Our team can guide you through this process with our extensive experience to make sure you are able to recover the full range of benefits and support available under the law. This can include:
    • Unpaid or lost wages
    • Lost benefits
    • Emotional distress
    • Attorneys fees and costs

As with any claim, the legal process can be challenging and time-consuming. However, by working with our team, we can guide and support you through the process from start to finish.

California Employment Lawyers With Experience and Guidance You Can Trust

No matter what the circumstances are, having your workplace rights violated is an extremely frustrating situation to be in. When your employer refuses or takes away your rest breaks, it can be especially concerning. That’s where our team of experienced and dedicated California employment lawyers can help.

At Maison Law, we have built a reputation for providing clients in California with experience and guidance that they can trust. We’ll make sure to give you a clear picture of your options and what to expect from the claims process. To get started, contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Call Now Button