• Finley Employment Law

Right to Meal Periods Under California Law



If you are a non-exempt employee, below are eight things that you should know about your right to meal periods under California law:

No. 1: If you work more than five hours in a day, your employer must provide you with one unpaid, off-duty meal period that is 30 minutes long. "Off-duty" means that during your meal period, you are relieved of all duty and you are free to attend to your personal business, including eating lunch or running personal errands.

No. 2: If you work six hours or less in a day, you may waive your meal period - but only by mutual consent by both you and your employer.

No. 3: If you work more than ten hours in a day, your employer must provide you with two unpaid, off-duty meal periods that are each 30 minutes long (for a total of 60 minutes).

No. 4: If you work 12 hours or less in a day, you may waive your second meal period - but only by mutual consent by both you and your employer and only if you did not waive your first meal period that day.

No. 5: If your employer requires you to remain at the workplace during your meal period, your employer must pay you for your meal period - even if you are relieved of all duties during your meal period.

No. 6: If you work more than five hours in a day, your first meal period must start no later than the end of your fifth hour of work. If you work more than ten hours, your second meal period must start no later than the end of your tenth hour of work.

No. 7: Your employer may not coerce you into skipping your meal period, create incentives for you to skip your meal period, or otherwise encourage you to skip your meal period.

No. 8: If your employer fails to provide you with a required meal period, your employer must pay you one additional hour of pay at your regular rate of pay for each workday that a meal period was not provided.

Click here to read about on-duty meal periods.

If you believe that your employer is denying you required meal periods, call ((916) 612-0326) or email (contact@finleyemplaw.com) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Granite Bay, and Elk Grove.

The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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