Overtime, Rest Breaks, and Meal Breaks

Overtime, Rest Breaks, and Meal Breaks

California Labor Code and in Wage Orders/Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA):

In order to reduce the physical toil that could befall workers if employers were not burdened with employment regulations, the legislatures devised some minimum requirements for issues such as overtime, rest breaks, and meal breaks. These laws are quite specific in order to protect the rights of workers across the state.


If an employee works more than 8 hours a day, more than 40 hours a week, or 8 hours on the seventh day of work in any one 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." Cal Lab Code § 510.

If an employee works "in excess of 12 hours in one day," the employee shall be compensated "at a 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 regular hours [generally more than 8 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 ) 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.

Contact Us

If you and other employees 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 top lawyers in Los Angeles for overtime compensation and rest or meal breaks at Kokozian Law Firm, APC. 323-857-5900. Ask about our free initial consultation.