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In California you have a right to receive meal breaks and rest periods during your shift. 

If you did not get sufficient break time, or were not paid for the extra work, you may be owed compensation.

During required rest periods, employers must relieve their employees of all duties and can not control how employees spend their break time. If any work related restrictions are added to this, payment for that time is often required.

Rest Period
 An uninterrupted 10-minute period during which employees are not required to work. Employees are entitled to be paid during their rest periods

Meal Break
 An uninterrupted 30-minute period during which employees are free to attend to their personal business. Meal breaks are usually unpaid, unless the employer fails to relieve the employee of all duties.

If an employer does not properly pay their employees for their time, employees can file a claim to recover back wages that they are entitled to. 

What is a Rest and Meal Period Under California Law?

How can I start my claim?

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Employers of non-exempt employees have a legal duty to permit their employees to enjoy a rest period when they work shifts that exceed a certain number of hours.

When an employer fails to provide an employee with a meal break or rest period that they are lawfully entitled to, the employer must pay the employee one extra hour of pay at the employee’s regular hourly rate.

If the employer fails to provide multiple rest breaks or meal periods, the employee can earn up to one extra hour per workday for their missed rest periods and an additional one hour per workday for their missed meal breaks.

If you can answer YES to any of these questions, you may be entitled to Compensation.

  • You do not receive two 10-minute paid rest breaks for an eight-hour shift.

  • You do not receive one 30-minute unpaid meal period for an eight-hour shift.

  • Your rest or meal period is often interrupted.

  • Your supervisor discourages you from taking a legally-required rest or meal break.

  • You are not allowed to leave work during your 30-minute meal break.

  • You work and eat at the same time for your rest or meal break.