California law requires that employers give employees paid rest breaks under certain circumstances. Under California Labor Code Section 226.7 and an accompanying Industrial Wage Order, employees that work more than 3.5 hours in a day are allowed a 10-minute rest break. Simplified, the law states that for every four hours of work, an employee must be allowed a 10-minute break.
Similar to meal breaks, during a rest break, an employee must be relieved of their duties and allowed a proper break. Employers can require employees to remain on the premises during their breaks.
An employee can choose not to take their break, however, if they are denied breaks by their employer, the employee must be compensated for one hour at their regular pay rate.
Current case law is unsettled on certain issues, such as whether employers are permitted to offer one 20-minute break for an eight-hour shift, instead of two 10-minute breaks. Some courts have held that this is allowed only if there is adequate justification for it, and it does not unduly harm the employee. There is also an unsettled issue as to whether employees who are on-call are truly on a break if they must remain on-call during that time.
If you have been denied rest breaks and have not been compensated, an attorney can help you determine if you may have a valid claim, and, if so, against whom. Please contact the Hariri Law Group at 619-363-2889 for a free consultation. We look forward to speaking with you regarding your case. *Disclaimer: Every case is fact specific. In order to properly assess your case please contact one of our experienced attorneys.