Redding, CA asked in Employment Law for California

Q: I worked at a pizza chain in CA. On 7 hour shifts, My boss said take 1 rest and 1 meal break. Was I entitled to 2 rests?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Nancy J. Wallace
Nancy J. Wallace
  • Grand Terrace, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: YOU ARE CORRECT. California Law gets you 1 PAID 10-min (uninterrupted!) break after 3.5 hours, then a second after 6.1 hours. You must be allowed your unpaid meal break (30 min minimum) within 5 hours of starting the shift. You cannot be required to work during any required rest breaks. [Cal. Lab. C. 226.7]. BUT, you are free to skip your rest breaks provided your boss isn’t encouraging or forcing you to. So I'll wager this owner/manager will claim his staff volunteers to work through their second break.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, the law entitles employees to certain breaks based on the hours worked. For a 7-hour shift, you are indeed entitled to two 10-minute rest breaks and one 30-minute meal break.

Rest breaks are paid, while meal breaks are unpaid. If you work over 3.5 hours, you're entitled to one rest break; over 6 hours, two rest breaks. If your employer only allowed one rest break during your 7-hour shifts, they may not be in compliance with California labor laws. Employers are required to provide these breaks and cannot discourage or impede employees from taking them.

If you were denied a second rest break, you might be entitled to compensation for the missed break. It's advisable to discuss this issue with your employer or seek guidance from the California Labor Commissioner's Office if you believe your break rights were violated.

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