Having a break, paid or otherwise, for meals and a little bit of rest is a part of human decency. Many employers understand the importance of it and put the well-being of their employees over work. In contrast, some don’t care about giving breaks at all.
This is because there is nothing in the federal law that mandates employers to provide this break. But there are laws on the state level, such as in California. You should consult California business law attorneys for an in-depth explanation.
Break requirements in California
The California law has specific requirements for all kinds of breaks and goes into detail regarding the minimum requirements and the penalty for not following these regulations.
In California, employers have to allow a meal break after at least five hours of continuous work. This break can be before the five-hour limit but not a minute later than that. There are further instructions regarding this thirty-minute break.
The most notable of which is that this break is an actual uninterrupted break where the employee has no duty or obligation. Another major thing to note is that the employer in no way, shape, or form discourages the employee from taking their rightful break.
Second meal break
The threshold for a second thirty-minute meal break is ten hours of work. Again, the break can be before the ten-hour mark but cannot be any farther than that.
The employer is required to offer this break, but the employee themselves can not take it, if and only if they’ve been working for less than twelve hours that day, they are making this decision completely on their own, and the first break was not skipped.
The law requires an employer to provide a ten-minute resting break every four hours at the minimum. Any less than that and is considered an offense. California business law attorneys Nakase Wade can further guide you on your responsibilities as an employer.
Penalty for not complying with this law
The penalty for not providing a meal break or a rest break is that you have to pay the employee a certain amount. If an employer doesn’t give a meal break on one day, they will have to pay that employee an hour of pay with their next paycheck. The same is with violating rest break rights as well.