Employer Deny Your Rest or Lunch Break?

Los Angeles Employment Law Attorney on Meal Breaks and Rest Breaks at Work

Everyone needs to take breaks at work from time to time. Whether you work in an office, a retail store, film set or in a warehouse, California labor and employment law states that all workers have the right to reasonable rest breaks and at least one meal break over the course of their workday. Unfortunately, not all Los Angeles employers act in accordance with employment laws, unlawfully denying their employees well-earned breaks at work.

When your employer refuses to provide your legally mandated lunch break and rest breaks, you may need to take legal action to remedy the situation. Legal action could include getting wages you are owed for working through break periods. At the California employment law firm of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob, each Los Angeles employment law attorney has years of experience fighting for workers rights in and around the LA area. We will work tirelessly to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

What Breaks Can I Have at Work? Required Meal and Rest Breaks from California Employers

The Department of Industrial Relations very clearly lays out the rules that govern breaks at work. In most Los Angeles workplaces, non-exempt employees are entitled to:

  • An unpaid thirty minute meal break when they work at least five hours
  • Two unpaid thirty minute meal breaks when they work at least ten hours
  • A ten minute, on-the-clock rest period for every four hours worked

If your employer has denied you these rest breaks, talk to a Los Angeles employment law attorney. Your employer may owe you financial compensation for the extra time you worked through rest or meal breaks at your regular rate of pay.

Can a California Employer Deny a Rest Break or Lunch Break? Meal Break California Labor Laws

Your employer cannot deny you the right to take ten-minute rest breaks every four hours, nor can they deny you a thirty-minute lunch break every five hours.

However, if your employer or job responsibilities require you to be “on duty” while you take your meal break, you must be paid at your regular wage for the period of the break. This includes workers who may have jobs where they are the only employee at the workplace, like convenience stores, hospital intake desks or security booths. This rest break at work law may also cover individuals who must remain on the premises of their job while taking their break, even if they are relieved of duties while they eat.

Denied Rest or Lunch Breaks? California Employers May Owe Compensation to Workers

Any employer in California who is found to be denying rest breaks or a meal break to employees will be forced to pay the employees one hour’s worth of pay for every day that he or she denied the break. However, employees must first request this payment through a wage claim filed with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. A Los Angeles employment law attorney can assist you with this process.

Workplace retaliation can also be an issue when employers deny rest breaks. In many cases, an employee will complain about the denial of rest breaks before taking legal action, and the employer will engage in workplace retaliation. This can include demotion, further denials of rest breaks or the denial of a raise. If your employer retaliates against you for complaining about lack of rest breaks, a Los Angeles employment law attorney at our law firm may be able to help uphold your workplace rights.

Unlawful Break Policies at Your Workplace? Free Employment Attorney Consultation

If your employer regularly denies your rest breaks and meal breaks or the breaks of your coworkers, contact a Los Angeles employment law attorney. Everyone should be treated with respect in the workplace, and employers must provide breaks in accordance with California employment and labor laws. The denial of legally protected rest breaks is not acceptable. A Los Angeles employment law attorney from the experienced law firm of Kesluk, Silverstein & Jacob will work hard to fight for your right to break periods at work.