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Overtime, Rest Breaks, And Meal Breaks
To combat the longstanding problem of inadequate wages, excessive hours, and poor working conditions faced by workers, the legislature established the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) and delegated it the authority to enact requirements for such wage and hour concerns as minimum wage, overtime, rest breaks, and meal breaks. These laws are quite specific in order to protect workers throughout California.Overtime
If an employee works more than 8 hours in a workday or more than 40 hours in a workweek, the employee must be compensated at "the rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for an employee." An employee must also be compensated at this overtime rate for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh day of work in any one workweek. Cal Lab Code § 510.
If an employee works "in excess of 12 hours in one day," the employee shall be compensated "at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay for an employee." Cal Lab Code § 510.
If an employee works “in excess of eight hours on any seventh day of a workweek," he/she “shall be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay of an employee." Cal Lab Code § 510.Rest Periods and Meal Breaks
Employers "shall authorize and permit all employees to take rest periods" at a "rate of ten (10) minutes net rest time per four (4) hours" of work. 8 CCR 11010. A rest period "need not be authorized for employees whose total daily work time is less than three and one-half (3 1/2) hours. Authorized rest period time shall be counted as hours worked for which there shall be no deduction from wages." 8 CCR 11010.
If an employee works more than 5 hours a day, he/she is entitled to a 30 minute meal break. Also, if an employee is employed for "a work period of more than 10 hours per day ," the employer must provide the employee "with a second meal period of not less than 30 minutes." Cal Lab Code § 512. If an employer "fails to provide an employee" a meal period, the employer shall pay the employee one (1) hour of pay at the employee's regular rate of compensation for each work day that the meal period is not provided. 8 CCR 11010, Cal Lab Code § 226.7.
Meal Periods for an employee are ordinarily 30 minutes, during which the employee is completely relieved from duty for the purposes of eating regular meals. 29 CFR 785.19. An employee is "not relieved if he is required to perform any duties, whether active or inactive, while eating. For example, an office employee who is required to eat at his desk or a factory worker who is required to be at his machine is working while eating." 29 CFR 785.19. Similarly, if an employee is called back into work in the middle of his or her lunch break, then the interruption shall not be counted towards the lunch break.Alternative workweek
"Upon the proposal of an employer, employees of an employer may adopt" an alternative workweek "that authorizes work by the affected employees for no longer than 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek without the payment to the affected employees of an overtime rate of compensation." The alternative workweek schedule is deemed adopted if it:
- "Receives approval in a secret ballot election by at least two-thirds of the affected employees in a readily identifiable work unit." Cal Lab Code § 511.
- The “proposal for an alternative workweek schedule" must also be "in the form of a written agreement." 8 CCR 11010.
If an employee works hours in excess of the alternative work week schedule, above 10 hours a day or above 40 hours a week, the employee is entitled to overtime compensation at 1 ½ times the regular rate of pay of the employee. Cal Lab Code § 511. If an employee works in "excess of 12 hours per day" the employee is entitled to overtime compensation at the rate of "double the regular rate of pay of the employee." Cal Lab Code § 511.Contact Us
If you have not been granted proper overtime wages, or if you have been denied rest periods or meal breaks or have been compelled to work during them, contact the leading lawyers in California for overtime compensation and rest or meal breaks at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900. Ask about our free initial consultation.