Lunch Break and Rest Break Violations

A non-exempt employee in California working 5+ hours must given a non-paid lunch or meal break of at least 30 minutes.  However, if the employee does not work more than 6 hours in total that day, the break can be waived agreement between employer and employee.  In addition, an employee working 10+ hours in a day must be given a second meal break of at least 30 minutes. However, if the employee does not work more than 12 hours in total that day, the second meal break can be waived by agreement, but only if the first meal break was not waived. During the 30-minute meal break, the employer must relieve its employees of all duty, and the employee is free to use the break time to do whatever he/she wants.  However, the employer is not required to make sure that the employee is not working during the employee’s meal break. An employer who does not give a lunch break to an employee, or requires the employee to do work on the lunch break, could be liable to pay the employee for one additional hour of pay for each day of violation.