A Quick Guide To Meal Breaks And California Overtime Laws
California employees have the right to rest and meal breaks. These meal breaks often mean lunch breaks, which usually fit into the usual 9-5 work hours. That said, here's a quick guide to lunch breaks (and waiving lunch breaks) as any Burbank Employment Law Attorney in California would tell you.
California Laws Regarding Overtime Pay
An employee is entitled to time and a half for any time worked exceeding eight hours in a day. If an employee works more than twelve hours a day, they are entitled to double pay. Employees who work seven days in a workweek are entitled to double pay for all hours done on the seventh day.
Overtime is referred to as "off the clock." According to the California Labor Code, employees who are denied overtime compensation in any way are entitled to receive overtime salary plus fines and interest.
For more information on overtime laws, consult with one of our prescreened Burbank Employment Lawyers. After all, not all employment cases are the same, so you might have very specific issues that complicate your potential labor law claims.
Overtime Laws in California for Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees
Employees in California are classified as either exempt or non-exempt. What work an employee does, how he or she is compensated, how much discretion the individual has in completing his or her job, and if the employee has authority over corporate policy or procedural decisions, among other considerations, are used to determine whether an employee is exempt or non-exempt.
Many (but not all) paid employees are exempt, while the majority (but not all) hourly workers are non-exempt.
To avoid paying overtime, some businesses will purposefully misclassify a person or a group of employees as "exempt." California's exempt employee laws are complicated and should be examined on a case-by-case basis.
If your boss used underhanded tactics or outright refuses to give you your overtime time pay, consult with a Burbank Labor Law Attorney immediately.
California's Mandatory Lunch Breaks And Waivers
Non-exempt workers who work shifts of five hours or longer are entitled to a 30-minute meal break during their shift. If you're working for more than 10 hours, you'll be entitled to two 30-minute meal breaks.
Generally, the employee must be released of all responsibilities during these meal periods. During meal breaks, hourly employees are frequently obliged to "clock out." While employers must provide these lunch periods to non-exempt employees with few restrictions, employees have the freedom to refuse meal breaks during shifts of less than six hours.
When Meal Breaks Are Denied
If your boss refuses to let you take a meal break, the employee is entitled to a one-hour pay penalty at his or her regular hourly salary. Employees and employers may, however, agree to forgo the meal break obligation.
The agreement, on the other hand, must be in writing, and the employee must be able to revoke it at any moment.
If your boss denies you meal breaks, contact a Burbank Employment Law Attorney immediately. A lawyer can help you build a case by gathering crucial evidence, filing the right paperwork, and contacting the proper agencies.
Penalties And Mandatory Rest Periods
Employers must also have a policy that allows non-exempt employees to take frequent rest breaks. Workers in California are entitled to a 10-minute rest break for every four hours worked.
Employees who are denied a rest break by their employer are entitled to one hour of salary at their usual rate for each day they were denied a rest break.
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