So as not to incur rest break violations, every California employer is required to provide all non-exempt employees with two ten-minute rest periods for every eight hours of work, although an employer is not required to provide a rest break to an employee who works less than 3.5 hours. Similar to meal periods, employees must be relieved of all duties while on their breaks. Unlike meal breaks though, employers are required to pay employees their normal wages during rest breaks. To the greatest extent possible, rest breaks are supposed to be taken in the middle of the work period. For example, if an employee works from 8:30a.m to 5:00p.m., the employee should take her first break between 10:00a.m. and 11:00a.m., thirty minute lunch break sometime between 12:30p.m. and 1:30p.m., and the afternoon break sometime between 3:00 and 4:00p.m.
COMPENSATION FOR MISSED REST BREAKS
Violations of the rest break law are very serious, because if an employer fails to provide employees with the required rest periods, the employee is entitled to one hour off compensation per missed break. For example, if an employer fails to provide the employee with any rest break for one week, assuming the employee works eight hours a day, five days a week, the employer would owe the employee one hour of compensation for every missed break, or ten hours of compensation for one week! (1 hour of compensation per missed break x 2 missed breaks per day x five days per week). Rest break violations can add up quickly, especially if an employer routinely failed to provide breaks to its employees.
THREE YEARS TO FILE YOUR CLAIM
Claims for missed breaks can be brought up to three years after the break was not provided.
If you have not received rest breaks from your employer and you work in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Ukiah, or anywhere in Sonoma County, Mendocino County or Lake County California and feel that you you have been a victim of rest break violations you may qualify for damages or remedies that may be awarded in a possible unpaid overtime class action or lawsuit, or a complaint filed with an administrative agency, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (generally referred to as “the labor board”). Please contact a rest break violations law attorney at Beck Law P.C. to discuss your legal options to enable you to recover the overtime wages you are duly owed.