California is one of the states that have employment laws that are more lenient to workers. Because of this, workers who file grievances against their employer because of wages and hour rates, harassment, and discrimination often use state laws as opposed to federal laws that are not as favorable to them.
One of the provisions under the California's law on employment is that workers should be provided with rest and meal breaks.
Under the law, a worker in California is entitled to have one (1) 10-minute break for every four hours of work. This means that an employee who works for at least eight hours a day must be provided with two (2) 10-minute breaks that should be taken between their working hours.
For every five hours of work, an employee in California is entitled to a 30-minute break that can be taken outside of the workplace. While taking these breaks, the employee must be free from any task or duty assigned to him by his employer.
Employees who are working for six hours every day can agree to waive his meal breaks.
Violation of employment laws
With this law on meal and rest breaks, employers can be assured that their workers are not overworked and may be more productive as they are provided with the adequate breaks.
However, some employers are greedy or are simply unaware of the existing laws in their state. Because of this, they unwillingly commit violation on employment rights which will eventually cost them more.
Workers who are forced to eat while working or those who are not provided with the mandatory rest and meal breaks are entitled to one (1) hour of pay for each day that the violation has been committed by their employer.
If the employment contract signed by both the employee and the employer states that the worker is not allowed to take the aforementioned breaks, then, that part of the agreement is void. This is because it violates the worker's right to take a break after several hours of continuous working.
Employers need to follow these laws in meal and rest breaks as they will not only pay fines for offenses, they can also face lawsuits from workers demanding to get their one hour of pay for each day for each violation committed by the employer.
Workers must immediately consult with a Los Angeles employment attorney who will make sure that they recover the back pays that they are entitled to.