Law Office of Jeffrey D. Fulton

What you should know about California work breaks

Are you getting routine rest and meal breaks at work? Although federal law does not require employers to give work breaks, employers in California are required to give work breaks and rest periods to certain employees in accordance with the Industrial Welfare Commission Orders. Under this order, employers must offer a paid 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked. This does not, however, pertain to employees who only work three and a half hours. As a worker in the state of California, you are entitled to certain benefits, even if you are not a full-time employee.

California workers are also entitled to lunch breaks. Employers must allow you to take a 30-minute lunch break after you have worked five hours. In some cases, employers may require you to clock-out for your lunch break, as they are not by law required to pay you for your time off. If your work shift is six hours or less, you may choose rather you wish to clock-out for a meal break. If you work ten-hour shifts, you may be entitled to two lunch breaks.

It is critical that your employer is offering you these rest and lunch breaks as they are benefits that you are entitled to as a California worker. Employees that take routine breaks are found to be more productive and efficient when it comes to their job. By resting your brain and your body, and eating healthy, regular meals, you can perform at your best.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken for legal advice.

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