Did you know that, in the state of California, your employer is required to provide you with meal periods and rest periods over a certain number of hours worked? Many people who work in California are not aware of these laws, and, as a result, unscrupulous employers take advantage of them. Again, under certain circumstances, California law requires that employers provide adequate compensation for meal and rest breaks.

Generally speaking, the actual meal periods and rest periods do not need to be compensated. These are usually given as unpaid breaks and this is legal. However, in the event that the employer interrupts the employee during these rest periods, the employer is legally required to compensate the employee for the time spent working that should have been given as a break. In addition to this, the employee must also be paid an additional hour of wages since the employer violated the meal and rest break laws.

In general, employees in California must receive a 30-minute meal period for every 5 hours on the clock. In addition to the meal period, California employees are also entitled to a 10 minute rest period every 4 hours. If the employee in question is working an 8-hour shift, he or she is entitled to two ten minute rest periods in addition to the 30 minute meal period.

As said prior, for every single violation of meal and rest break periods that occur, the employee is entitled to an extra hour of wages for that day’s pay. So if the meal period is violated for 20 days, that means the employee is entitled to an extra 20 hours of wages.