Do You Work for Taco Bell? Meal Break Case Achieves Class Action Status

Has your employer stiffed you out of overtime pay or made you work through lunch breaks? Are you a fast food worker?

Lawsuits across the country have been filed against several food establishments recently over unpaid labor claims, including Dominos Pizza and Dunkin’ Donuts. In addition, Subway franchisees have been found in violation of pay and hour rules in more than 1,100 investigations spanning from 2000 to 2013.

It should be noted that it is illegal for an employer to dock your wages below federal and state minimum wage guidelines by working you off the clock.

Additionally, in California, most employees are entitled to a thirty-minute meal break when they work at least five hours, two unpaid thirty minute meal breaks when they work at least ten hours, and a ten minute on-the-clock rest period for every four hours worked.

Recently, a wage and overtime lawsuit filed in California against Taco Bell reached class action status, as thousands of employees may have been denied meal breaks prior to the end of their first five hours of work each day.

The lawsuit was filed originally in 2007, when two employees filed a suit claiming overtime violations.

According to, the lawsuit was consolidated with other cases in 2009, lobbying for class action certification two years later.

Last month, a judge granted a class action summary judgment concerning meal break claims, saying that Taco Bell enforced a policy that failed to provide breaks in a timely matter.

Due to the decision, the amended lawsuit will represent all nonexempt hourly paid Taco Bell employees working in the state of California from September 7, 2003 to July 1, 2013, who did not receive required meal breaks after working more than five hours.

The website reported that the case could potentially involve 28,000 members.

What Should I Do If My Employer Denies Me a Meal Break?

If your employer has denied you meal breaks, contact our employment lawyers today.

If your employer denies you a meal break, it is required to pay you one hour’s worth of pay for every day that it denied you a break. To do this, you must file a claim with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. We can assist you with this process.

If you have been denied a break or are owed back pay from your employer, file a lawsuit to obtain compensation. You could be entitled to damages for past due wages, as well as negligence.

Kesluk, Silverstein & JacobLos Angeles employment attorneys

Did You Know? If your job requires that you to be “on duty” during a meal break, you must be paid your regular wage during the period of the break.