If your boss does not let you take a rest break, or forces you to work during your rest breaks, what can you do? What is owed to you? According to California Labor Code Section 226.7:
(a) No employer shall require any employee to work during any meal or rest period mandated by an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.
(b) If an employer fails to provide an employee a meal period or rest period in accordance with an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission, the employer shall pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each work day that the meal or rest period is not provided.
Moreover, the applicable wage order to your industry likely includes language similar or identical to this (section 12):
Every employer shall authorize and permit all employees to take rest periods, which insofar as practicable shall be in the middle of each work period. The authorized rest period time shall be based on the total hours worked daily at the rate of ten (10) minutes net rest time per four (4) hours or major fraction thereof.
If you’ve been denied rest breaks, or forced to be ‘on-call’ during your rest breaks, you might have a legal claim. If you want to know more, check out my earlier post on a recent rest break case. The case, commonly known as “Brinker,” was big news because the California Supreme Court weighed in and attempted to resolve lingering questions for wage and hour lawyers all across the state. I’ve also written an entire post exclusively on rest breaks. Check out both to learn more information.
Branigan Robertson is a California employment lawyer who exclusively represents employees in workplace disputes. He focuses his practice on sexual harassment, wage & hour, wrongful termination, and retaliation. Visit his website at BRobertsonLaw.com or call his office at 949.667.3025.