SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CASE REVIEW

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

ALL FIELDS REQUIRED*

FREE CONSULT

NO RECOVERY NO FEE

(310) 553-5630

ADVOCATES

for employees

California Lunch Break Law 2023 – All You Need to Know

Posted on December 15, 2022 | Employment Law

As an employee in California, it is important to understand your rights and protections under the state’s lunch break laws. These are designed to ensure you get the rest and nutrition you need daily without compromising your work. By better understanding the state’s laws, you can ensure you get the breaks you are supposed to receive.

What Is the California Lunch Break Law?

The California lunch break law is a state law that requires employers to provide their employees with a meal time of 30 minutes or longer for every five hours of work. This meal time must be by the end of five hours of work.

During meal breaks, the employee must be relieved of all duties and free to leave the premises. Therefore, the employer is not required to pay the employee for the meal break as long as the employee is relieved of all duties and is free to leave the work premises.

However, if the employee must remain on the work premises during the meal break, the employer must pay the employee for the entire meal period. In addition, if the employee works 10 hours or longer in a single day, the employer must provide a second meal time of 30 minutes or longer, which must be provided by the 10th hour of work.

California Lunch Break Law

Are There Any Exceptions to the California Lunch Break Law?

A few exceptions to the California lunch break law may apply in certain circumstances. For example, if the employee is working on a job at most six hours in duration and the employee and the employer agree to waive the meal break, the employee may waive the meal break. However, the employee must still receive a meal time of 30 minutes or longer if they work 10 hours or longer in a single day.

In addition, if the employee is working on a job that is at most 12 hours in duration and the employee and the employer agree to waive the second meal period, the employee may waive the second meal period. However, the employee must still receive a first meal break of 30 minutes or longer, and the waiver of the second meal period must be in writing and signed by the employee.

What Are the Penalties for Violating the California Lunch Break Law?

If an employer violates the California lunch break law, the employee may be entitled to recover damages. These damages may include the amount of any unpaid wages that the employee was entitled to receive and an additional amount equal to the unpaid wages as liquidated damages.

In addition, the employee may be entitled to recover their attorneys’ fees and costs if they prevail in a lawsuit against their employer for violating the California lunch break law.

What Should I Do if My Employer is Violating the California Lunch Break Law?

If you believe your employer is violating the California lunch break law, you should consult an experienced employment lawyer. An employment attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you on your options for pursuing a claim against your employer.

If you are successful in your claim, you may be entitled to recover damages, including unpaid wages and liquidated damages, as well as your attorneys’ fees and costs. This is a strong incentive for your employer to comply with the California lunch break law in the future.

You must understand and take advantage of the California lunch break law to protect your rights and ensure that you are getting paid for all your hours without ceding any of your essential rights.

FAQs

Q: Can an Employee Choose Not to Take a Lunch Break in California?

A: An employee may choose to waive their meal period if they are working a job at most six hours in duration and if the employee and employer agree to waive the meal break in writing. However, if an employee works longer than 10 hours in a single day, they must be provided a second meal time of 30 minutes or longer. This meal period cannot be waived, even if the employee and employer agree to do so in writing.

Q: What Are the Penalties for Employers Who Violate the California Lunch Break Law?

A: If an employer violates the California lunch break law, the employee may be entitled to recover damages, including the amount of unpaid wages they were entitled to receive and an additional amount equal to the unpaid wages as liquidated damages. Additionally, the employee may recover their attorneys’ fees and costs if they prevail in a lawsuit against their employer for violating the California lunch break law.

Q: What Should I Do if My Employer Violates the California Lunch Break Law?

A: If you believe your employer is violating the California lunch break law, you should consult an experienced employment lawyer. An employment attorney can review the facts of your case and advise you on your options for pursuing a claim against your employer. If you are successful in your claim, you may be entitled to recover damages, including unpaid wages and penalties. Additionally, an attorney can help you to negotiate a settlement with your employer or file a lawsuit against them if necessary. It is important to note that any legal action must be taken within a specified period, so it is essential to consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

Q: Is It Possible to Receive Overtime Pay if I Work Through my Lunch Break?

A: Under the California lunch break law, employees who work more than eight hours in one day or 40 hours in a week must receive overtime wages if they work more than eight hours in a single day or 40 hours in a week. Employees who work through their lunch break may be entitled to overtime wages for any hours worked over eight in a single day or 40 in a week. Employees should discuss their rights with an experienced employment lawyer if they believe they have yet to be paid all the wages they are supposed to receive.

Contact The Law Office of Omid Nosrati Today

If questions or concerns about the California lunch break law concern you and you believe that your employer is violating it, please get in touch with The Law Office of Omid Nosrati today. Our experienced employment lawyers can review the facts of your case and advise you on your options for pursuing a claim against your employer. In addition, we have extensive experience representing employees who have been wrongfully denied their lunch break wages and can guide you through the legal process every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.