One Rest Period Does Not Equal Two

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One Rest Period Does Not Equal Two

Business co-workers taking break from work outdoors

Employers cannot combine employee’s rest periods

The California Court of Appeal recently ruled that a company’s practice of providing employees a “combined” 20-minute rest period before or after the meal break did not comply with California law and supported an employee’s claim that the company failed to provide rest breaks per the California Labor Code.

California law requires employers to provide employees a 30-minute meal period for a work period of more than five hours, and rest periods accruing at the rate of 10 minutes per 4 hours or major fraction thereof. In Rodriguez v. E.M.E., Inc., the company required employees to take a 30-minute meal period and one 20-minute rest period either before or after lunch.

While the employees still received 20-minutes of rest during their 8-hour shift, the combining of what should be 2 rest periods was now allowed because rest period in an 8-hour shift should fall on either side of the meal break, absent factors rendering such scheduling impracticable.

Rest and Meal Periods for Shifts of More than 10 Hour

It is important to keep in mind that if an employee works more than 10 hours in a work day but less than 12, then the employee is also entitled to:

  1. An additional 10-minute rest period; AND
  2. An additional 30-minute meal period.

For shifts over 12 hours a day, even more rest periods and meal periods are required. If you believe your employer is not providing all your rest and/or meal periods, call Carlos Cerda for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.

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