If you feel your rights as an employee have been violated because your employer failed to give you proper meal and rest breaks, contact the skilled California meal and rest break lawyer Drew Lewis who can help you get the fair treatment and compensation you deserve.
Who is entitled to meal and rest breaks?
Under California law, most, but not all, employees are entitled to meal and rest breaks. Employees entitled to breaks are commonly referred to as exempt or nonexempt employees. An exempt employee is an employee who is exempt from overtime, meal & rest break law.
All employees are presumed to be non-exempt unless they fall into one of the following categories of occupations.
Even if your job falls into one of these categories, you still have to past the extremely strict exemption test. If you do not, you are non-exempt and entitled to breaks.
The meal and rest break exemption test requires:
While these are three main requirements of the test, the test varies slightly depending on the profession you are in. Because these are very fact specific questions, you should consult with a meal and rest break lawyer to assess whether you have been properly classified because employers commonly engage in exempt employee misclassification where they classify nonexempt workers as exempt employees to avoid providing meal and rest breaks.
If you do not meet these requirements (and it is your employer’s responsibility to prove it, not yours), the you are a non-exempt employee and are protected by California labor laws, which includes the requirement to be provided meal and rest breaks.
What are your meal and rest break rights?
All non-exempt employees are entitled to a meal and rest break if they work a long enough shift. While your employer does not have to force you to take your break, they do have to provide you with the opportunity and cannot discourage or prevent you from doing so. If they do, they have violated the law.
California Meal Break Laws:
If you are non-exempt, you are entitled to a 30-minute unpaid meal break for every five hour shift worked during the day. To be a valid legal meal break, it must be:
If you work more than 10 hours in a day, you are entitled to a second 30-minute meal break. This break can only be waived if you did not waive the first break and will work less than 12 hours total for the day.
California Rest Breaks Laws:
A rest break is required for every shift of four hours (so long as the shift is at least three and a half hours or more) worked during the day. To be a valid legal rest break, it must meet the following requirements:
It is important to understand your company cannot require you to combine meal breaks and rest breaks. This means that depending on the number of hours you work, you might be entitled to both rest and meal breaks.
For example, during an eight-hour shift, an employee should get a rest break during the first four hours worked, a rest break during the last four hours worked, and a meal break (usually in the middle).
Common Meal and Rest Break violations
There are numerous ways in which employer deny their employees on a daily basis of their meal and rest break rights. However, in our experience, there are some common patterns that many cases follow:
How Much Money Can You Recover For Violation of Your Meal and Rest Break Rights?
When an employer violates an employee’s rights to meal or rest breaks, that employee is entitled to be compensated. The employee can bring a claim against their employer to get that compensation which can include an additional hour of pay for each day a meal or rest break is denied.
These claims can be difficult, so it is important to have the help of a skilled California Employment Law attorney who can assist with bringing the claim.
Talk to a Meal and Rest Break Lawyer
Not all attorneys are created equal. Do you want someone that aggressively fights for you, that chases every last nickel your employer stole from you and who does not give discounts? To have the best opportunity for success, you should hire an attorney experienced in meal & rest break violation cases.
These cases require experience and skill. Going up against your employer can feel daunting, but not if you have the help of a knowledgeable attorney by your side. Let us help.
Our meal and rest break lawyers are experienced in handling these types of cases.
Drew Lewis, PC, led by its lead trial attorney Drew Lewis, has years of experience representing employees who have had their meal and rest break rights violated.
Drew has recovered millions of dollars for his clients. He understands how employers try to hide the facts and how to prove meal and rest break violation cases. And he does not give discounts to employers who have stolen from their workers.
We offer a free case evaluation. And you do not pay us unless we win your case.