You’re allowed to take rest breaks at work. That’s what California labor law says—and if your employer isn’t allowing you to do so, you could be entitled to financial compensation.
For most people who believe that their employer has violated the employment law on rest breaks, it makes sense to get in touch with a labor lawyer in Glendale who understands the rules companies have to stick to and who’s willing to take on the “big guys” to protect the “little guy.”
What California’s Employment Law Says About Rest Breaks
The law requires employers to provide a certain number of rest breaks for nonexempt employees. Nonexempt employees include nearly every worker who isn’t a professional, an executive, or an administrator.
If you’re a nonexempt employee working a shift that lasts between three-and-a-half and six hours, you’re entitled to a 10-minute rest break. If you’re working a shift that lasts between six and 10 hours, you’re entitled to a total of two 10-minute rest breaks.
Those breaks must be paid. Your employer can’t make you clock out just to take a 10-minute break. Your employer can’t make you work during any required rest break, either, although you can choose to skip a break (as long as your supervisor isn’t encouraging you or forcing you to skip it).
Rest breaks are different from lunch breaks, which employers must also provide in many situations.
California Labor Code, Section 1030, says that employers must provide a “reasonable amount of break time to accommodate an employee desiring to express breast milk for the employee’s infant child.” The code also says that if possible, the break time for this purpose should be incorporated into an existing break time; if it doesn’t, it can be unpaid.
You do have a right to a lactation accommodation, and if your employer isn’t willing to allow you what’s required by law, you can file a formal complaint with your supervisor of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. If you take either of those courses of action, it is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you.
What to Do if You’re Not Allowed Rest Breaks at Work
Because your employer is legally obligated to provide you with at least one rest break during a work shift that lasts between three-and-a-half hours and six hours, you’re entitled to take it. However, if your employer is violating your rights, you may find it helpful to talk to an attorney who understands the specifics on employment law and rest breaks; you could be eligible for financial compensation if you’re not getting your breaks.
The bottom line is that if your employer fails to provide you with a rest break when you have worked the prescribed amount of time, or if your employer interrupts your rest break to make you work, the law requires them to pay you one hour’s worth of your regular pay; that pay must be included in your next paycheck.
Do You Need to Talk to a Glendale Employment Lawyer?
For many people in situations like yours, it makes sense to talk to a Glendale employment lawyer.
Call us at 818-617-9712 or contact us online to tell us what’s going on, whether you still work for the same employer or this took place when you worked for your previous employer. We may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.