California Employment Law Requires Employers to Provide Their Employees With Rest and Meal Periods
Have you been forced to work through your lunch and rest periods in your place of employment without compensation? Or has your employer failed to provide you with meal and rest periods? If so, you may be entitled to additional wages. According to California employment lawyers, non-exempt employees, including independent contractors, are entitled to receive meal and rest periods.
Know Your Employment Rights
According to meal and rest period rules, a meal period is defined as an uninterrupted period of at least 30 minutes during the workday. If an employee is forced to work during this meal period, then they must be paid because they are considered to be “on the clock.” If the employer fails to provide a meal period, then the employee is entitled to an additional hour of pay for each workday that the meal period was not provided. However, the employee must be scheduled to work at least six hours during the workday in order for the employer to be required to provide a meal period.
A rest period, on the other hand, is defined as an uninterrupted period of at least ten minutes during the workday. Here, the employee is still considered to be “on the clock.” You are entitled to a ten-minute rest period for every four hours that you work. However, if you work less than three and a half hours a day, your employer is not required to provide you with a rest period. If you have not been provided with a rest period or work during part of your rest period, then you are entitled to an additional hour of pay for each workday that the rest period was not provided.
California Employment Lawyers Will Help You Win Back Wages
If you think you are entitled to additional wages for missed or worked meal and rest periods, it is helpful to use our Meal and Rest Period Calculation Worksheet. In order to help your case, it is also best to provide your employment attorney with time sheets, payroll records or other documents which can help determine the number of days you were not provided with a meal or rest period. Your meal and rest period worksheet should also detail hourly rates, lengths of meal periods, missed and worked meal and rest periods to determine how much you are owed.
While you can collect wages from as far back as four years from the date you file your lawsuit, you must fall under the category of a non-exempt employee. In addition, you can only receive one extra hour of pay per day, regardless of how many meal and/or rest periods you miss.
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