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Meal & Rest Breaks

California law requires that all employees get an uninterrupted meal break depending on the length of their shift.  Regardless of whether you have a ‘meal’, you are entitled this time to relax and/or handle your own personal business.  California law also requires that nonexempt employees get uninterrupted paid rest breaks depending on the length of their shift.



Meal Break


In most cases, employees are entitled to:


a 30-minute meal break if they work more than five (5) hours in a day. 

a second 30-minute meal break if they work more than ten (10) hours in a day. 

Rest Break

Nonexempt employees are usually entitled to:

a 10-minute rest periods if working 3.5 hours or more

a 10-minute rest periods for every 4 hours of work

two 10-minute rest periods when working +6 hours to 10 hours

three 10-minute rest periods when working +10 hours to 14 hours


Rest breaks must be PAID time off.

There are regulations concerning when the meal and rest breaks should be scheduled, the limited situations in which the breaks can be waived, and the limited situations when an employee can be ‘on call’ during their breaks.

Rest Period Premium


If an employer does not provide an employee with a required rest period, the employer must pay the employee one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of pay for each workday that the rest period is not provided.  This is known as a rest period premium.

Call us for a free consultation.


If you are not given the opportunity to take uninterrupted and off-duty meal and rest periods, your employer may be taking advantage of you. Employers who violate California wage and hour laws and who do not pay the rest period premium for missed rest breaks or meal breaks face serious consequences and hefty penalties.   Our office generally works on a contingency-fee basis for these claims and we do not collect fees unless we obtain money for you.  Our Firm will fight tirelessly to protect and defend the rights of every employee to be fully compensated for their work. 


Call the Falchetti Law Firm at (626) 831-9070  or email us here.

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