Is my employer required to give me breaks?

Possibly. California employees who are “non-exempt employees” must be given meal and rest breaks.


Meal breaks

Non-exempt employees get at least a 30-minute unpaid meal break for every 5 hours of work. The employee must receive a meal break within the first 5 hours of work. You can agree to not have a meal break, but only if the work period is 6 hours or less.


The employee is entitled to 2 meal periods for 10 hours of work and has the option of waiving the second meal break if the work period is 10 hours or less.


Rest breaks: Generally, a non-exempt employee must be given a 10-minute paid rest period for every 4 hours of work.


Remedy for Missed Meal and Rest Break: If your employer fails to give you a meal break, the employer must give you 1 hour of pay at your regular rate for each workday you were denied a meal break. The same is true for rest breaks. 



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