In California, your employer is required by law to provide you with meal and rest breaks. If you aren’t receiving these lunch breaks, you may be entitled to compensation from your employer. Only an experienced labor attorney can determine the value of your claim, which may include penalties for missed meal and rest breaks and interest.
At the Employment Lawyers Group, our Unpaid Wages Attorneys have extensive experience litigating violations of labor laws, including the requirement to provide lunch breaks. Contact us to discuss your case and explain your options.
If you work more than five hours a day, you are entitled to an uninterrupted meal break of not less than 30 minutes in which you can leave the premises or do anything you want. This only applies to nonexempt employees. The fact that you are paid hourly or salaried does not determine whether you are exempt. The employee cannot choose not to take the meal break and sue. To file suit, the employer needs to prevent the meal break or the nature of business is such that the employee cannot be relieved to take a meal break.
Your employer does not have to pay you for a meal break as long as you are relieved of all duties and are allowed to leave the work site. If you work more than 10 hours, you are entitled to two uninterrupted meal breaks.
If you are required to remain at your work site during your meal break, you must be paid for the time even if you are relieved of all duties during the meal break unless you have signed a valid meal break waiver or on-duty meal break agreement. Whether meal break waivers are valid is an extremely complicated question of labor law we have experience with having handled this issue in a class action.
You are entitled to a 10-minute rest break for every four-hour work period.
Protection for employees: If your employer fires you or punishes you for filing a meal break or rest break claim, it may be subject to additional damages.
Many unpaid wage cases are very small, or too small for an employment lawyer to take as only one case. In those circumstances, class action representation for Labor Code Violations for unpaid wages may be the employee’s only recourse. However, in cases in which the average employee is owed tens of thousands of dollars, the employee may be best off filing their own action for unpaid wages.
Dealing with unpaid wages can get complicated as there are many rules and regulations. At The Employment Lawyers Group, we will help you get what you deserve if you have not been compensated for your time. Most labor lawyers will only take cases for Unpaid Overtime, Meal Breaks, Prevailing Wage, or minimum Wage violations on a classwide basis where your recover will be diluted. Call 1-877-525-0700 toll free. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis with no upfront costs. We handle both individual cases for single employees and class actions brought on behalf of numerous employees for labor violations.