Meal and Rest Break Law in California Explained
In California, employees that are considered “non-exempt” have a legal right to take rest periods and meal breaks if their shifts are long enough.
A “rest period” is an uninterrupted 10-minute period during which employees are not required to work. Non-exempt employees have a right to ten minutes of paid rest time for every four-hour period they work, as long as their shift is more than three-and-a-half hours long.
A “meal break” is an uninterrupted 30-minute period during which employees are free to attend to their personal business. Non-exempt employees have a right to one unpaid 30-minute meal break if they work more than five hours. If they work more than ten hours, they’re entitled to a second unpaid 30-minute meal break.
If the employer fails to provide one or more rest periods or meal breaks, the employer must pay the employee one extra hour per workday for their missed rest periods and an additional one hour per workday for their missed meal breaks.
There are, of course, many caveats to these rules. So be sure to read the rest of this article to learn more. Or, if you think you have a legal case against your employer, feel free to contact the employment lawyers of Smith and Lo.
Overtime Wage Law in California Explained
California employees who are considered “non-exempt” have a legal right to extra pay if they work more than a certain number of hours. This extra pay is called “overtime.”
If the employee works more than eight hours in a day or forty hours in a week, the usual rate of overtime is one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular hourly rate.
If the employee works more twelve hours in a day or more than eight hours on the seventh consecutive workday in a workweek, their overtime rate is twice their regular hourly rate.
If you have not been paid your full overtime wages, you might be able to collect your unpaid wages for the last three years, as well as penalties, interest, and attorney’s fees. If you think you have not been paid for your overtime work, feel free to contact the employment lawyers of Smith and Lo.
California’s Exempt Employee Laws: How to Classify Workers
California labor laws require most employers to follow certain rules, like paying overtime, tracking hours, or providing rest and meal breaks. Some employees, however, are exempt from these requirements.
In most cases, there are three simple requirements to determine whether a worker is an “exempt employee” under California law:
- Minimum Salary. The employee must be paid a salary that is at least twice the state minimum wage for full-time employment.
- White Collar Duties. The employee’s primary duties must consist of administrative, executive, or professional tasks.
- Independent Judgment. The employee’s duties must involve the use of discretion and independent judgment.
If all three requirements are met, the employee will usually be classified as “exempt.” There are, however, many caveats to this test. There are also some jobs that are subject to a different test altogether.
Please read the rest of this article to find out more. Or, if you think you have a legal case against your employer, feel free to contact the employment lawyers of Smith and Lo.