Clarification of California's employment laws regarding meal and rest breaks were given in the recent court case "Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court." The court decided that although an employer can not undermine the employees ability to take their breaks they do not have to take measures to ensure that no work is performed by the employees during breaks.
The court also clarified the rate that employees accrue rest breaks. "Every employer shall authorize and permit all employees to take rest periods, which shall be in the middle of each work period. The authorized rest period time shall be based on the total hours worked daily at the rate of 10 minutes net rest time per 4 hours or major fraction thereof. However, a rest period need not be authorized for employees whose total daily work time is less than 3½ hours."
Employees are entitled to 10 minute rests for shifts from 3½ to 6 hours in length, 20 minutes for shifts of more than 6 hours up to 10 hours, 30 minutes for shifts of more than 10 hours up to 14 hours.
If you are concerned that your employment rights are being violated please give my office, The Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman a call at (877) 449-8898 for a free consultation.