Can I Work Through My Lunch Break In California?

Often, California law employee lunch breaks lead to misunderstandings between the employer and the employee. An employment lawyer could help if you have issues during your lunch break. Your questions about California food and rest breaks will be gladly answered because we take client communication seriously.

California Requirements for Meal Breaks

In California, if an employee works more than 5 hours a day, the employer must provide a 30-minute meal break. If the employee works more than 10 hours daily, the employer must provide a second 30-minute meal break. However, if the workday is no more than 12 hours, the second meal break can be waived at the employee’s request.Meal breaks must be provided by 5 hours into the shift. For example, if an employee’s shift starts at 8 am, the first meal break must be provided no later than 1 pm. The second meal break must be provided no later than 10 pm.Employees are not required to take their meal breaks, but if they do take them, they must be completely free from work duties during that time. This means that the employer cannot require employees to eat their meals at their desks or station, and employees should refrain from performing work-related tasks during their meal breaks.If an employer fails to provide adequate meal breaks, the employee may be entitled to one hour of pay for each workday that a violation occurred.

California Rules for Skipping Meal Breaks

As an employee in California, you have the right to take a 30-minute meal break if you work more than 5 hours daily. You can skip your meal break if you work fewer than 6 hours a day and if you and your employer agree.If you choose to take a meal break, you must be completely relieved from duty for at least 30 minutes. This means you can only work during your meal break if you’re doing something simple like checking your email.If your employer does not allow you to take a meal break or does not allow you to do so, they may be violating California unpaid lunch break law. If this is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for missed meal breaks.If you work in California, you may wonder if you can work through your lunch break. The answer is yes, but some conditions must be met for this to be allowed. Your employer must agree to it, and you must be paid for the extra hours worked. Working through your lunch break is perfectly legal in California if both conditions are met.


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