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Learn About Employees’ Rights to Breaks and Meal Periods from a Los Angeles Unpaid Wage Lawyer

As an employee in Los Angeles, you are not required to work a full day without rest. You are entitled to take breaks throughout the day, and you are entitled to be paid during these breaks in some (but not all) cases. Unfortunately, many employers require their employees to clock out when they shouldn’t—and, as a result, many employees find themselves in need of an experienced Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer.

If you have been wrongfully denied paid or unpaid breaks or meal periods, you may be entitled to financial compensation from your employer. At Attorneys for Employees (AFE), our lawyers can assess your legal rights, and if you have a claim, we can work to recover just compensation on your behalf.

Understanding Employees’ Rights to Breaks and Meal Periods in Los Angeles

Most employees in Los Angeles are entitled to breaks and meal periods under California law. As the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) explains, employees are generally entitled to:

  • “An uninterrupted 30-minute unpaid meal break when working more than five hours in a day.”
  • “An additional 30-minute unpaid meal break when working more than 12 hours in a day.”
  • “A paid 10-minute rest period for every four hours worked.”

These rules apply to most employees in most work environments. But there are exceptions. For example, California has adopted special rules for domestic workers and farm workers, and employees who work outdoors are entitled to additional breaks when necessary to avoid heat-related medical conditions.

While federal law doesn’t require employers to provide breaks or meal periods, it does impose requirements when employers choose to provide these voluntarily. Specifically, as the U.S. Department of Labor explains, “When employers . . . offer short breaks (usually lasting about 5 to 20 minutes), federal law considers the breaks as compensable work hours that would be included in the sum of hours worked during the workweek and considered in determining if overtime” is due.

To clarify, these rules generally apply to non-exempt employees only. Exempt employees, such as those who work in professional occupations, are subject to different pay and break rules under state and federal law.

What if You Have Been Denied an Unpaid Break or Denied Pay for a Compensated Break?

So, what if your employer has violated your state or federal rights? Whether you have been denied an unpaid break or denied pay for a compensated break, you should speak with a Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer promptly. A lawyer at AFE can determine if you have a claim against your employer, and if you do, your lawyer can seek to recover the full compensation you deserve.

Speak with a Los Angeles Unpaid Wage Lawyer in Confidence

If you have questions about your right to breaks or meal periods as an employee in Los Angeles, we invite you to contact us for more information. To schedule an appointment with a Los Angeles unpaid wage lawyer at AFE, please call 310-601-1330 or inquire online today.