Every Employer Knows that Employees Are to Receive a Rest Break during the Workday…Right?
I have to tell you that the majority of Employers do not know the law in California on employee “Rest Breaks.” If the employer’s did know the law, my law office would not have obtained millions of dollars for employees who were taken advantage of and I wouldn’t be living in a 6200 square foot home near the famous “Kardashians.”
Firstly, all non-exempt employees are to receive two 10- minute Rest Breaks if they work 8 hours in a day. If the employee works 4 hours in a workday, the employee will receive one 10-minute Rest Break.
Secondly, the first Rest Break must be taken no later than 3 ½ hours during the first four hours and the other 10 minute Rest Break must be taken by the 7th hour of the workday.
Thirdly, and employers make this “goof-up” all the time. In California Supreme Court case, Augustus vs. ABM Security Services, the court held that the employee MUST be relieved of ALL duties or work during that 10 minute period. This means EVERYTHING. Don’t ask the employee just answer the phone, wait for text messages, look at customers, or anything else. If the employee is to do anything other than being LEFT ALONE, the employer will be penalized one-hour of pay, which will go to the aggrieved employee. So, if the employees hourly pay is $30 per hour and he/she has to stand-by and wait for phone calls, the employer shall pay that employee an additional $30 penalty. If the employee has two interrupted or doesn’t receive the other Rest Break duty free, the employer shall pay that employee another $30 penalty. That would be $60 in just penalties. Now, these penalties can be claimed going back 3 years. So, if an employer does not provide Duty-Free Rest Breaks or the Rest Breaks were late, the penalty is one hour pay. This is a big deal and can result in the employee receiving a lot of money from the employer and cost the employer a bunch of money if there are many aggrieved employees.
I encourage employees to keep track of the time the rest breaks were given and if they received a duty-free Rest Break. If you are an employee and you have not received proper Rest Breaks, as described above call my office and ask to speak to an attorney.
If you’re an employer and your screwing-up the Rest Breaks, you are almost certain to be violating other labor laws. I encourage you to contact the Law Offices Of Scott A. Miller, APC at 800-417-2008