MEAL & REST BREAK VIOLATIONS
ARE YOU ENTITLED TO MEAL AND REST BREAKS?
Whether you are entitled to meal and rest breaks depends on whether you are an "exempt" or a "nonexempt" employee. Only nonexempt employees are entitled to meal and rest breaks. Typically, if you are paid a hourly wage or have no managerial responsibilities, you are a nonexempt employee and therefore entitled to meal and rest breaks.
When ARE YOU Entitled to Meal Breaks?
Most nonexempt employees are entitled to an unpaid off-duty meal break of at least 30 uninterrupted minutes when that employee works more than 5 hours in a day. An employee is typically entitled to a second meal break when that employee works more than 10 hours in a day.
When ARE YOU Entitled To A Rest Break?
Generally, employees are entitled to a paid 10 consecutive minute rest break for every 4 hours worked. When possible, rest breaks should be in the middle of each 4 hour work period.
Can YOUR Employer Ask YOU TO Waive YOUR Breaks?
An employer cannot ask you to waive your right to take rest breaks. However, an employer may ask you to waive a meal break so long as the work day does not exceed 6 hours, and they can ask you to waive a second meal break so long as the work day is longer than 10 hours but less than 12 hours and the first meal break was not waived.
wHAT are you owed IF YOU ARE PREVENTED FROM TAKING BREAKS?
An employer who fails to provide breaks, or forces or discourages an employee to skip a meal or rest break, must pay the employee 1 additional hour of pay at the nonexempt employee's regular rate for each day a meal or a rest break was not provided.
Brock & Gonzales, LLP specializes in meal and rest break violation cases. If you feel you have not been provided meal or rest breaks, contact us for a free consultation.