Know More About The California Labor Law Related With Breaks & Mealtimes

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California labor law has a separate section which provides the detail about the Missed Rest Period Violation and Lunch breaks. As per the United States Department of labor, the Fair Labor Standards Act does not deals with break time  but California labor codes has  considered break and rest period as a right of Californians.  The Industrial Welfare Commission follows the break and rest time rules given by the California labor code.

Right of Rest Period

Although, theCalifornia labor codes do not provide any specific information about the break times but labor code section 516 hand over the authority to the Industrial Welfare Commission to release work orders, which can provide about the rest-break rules, must be followed by the employees working in California. The Industrial Welfare Commission has passed seventeen work orders, which cover working condition, breaks, etc. order for the different job categories. If any non-exempt employee face Missed Rest Period Violation by the employee can sue the employer.

Details of the break time orders

Labor code section 12 in each California in each Industrial Welfare Commission order controls breaks for the specified employee category.  According to IWC work order 4-2001 has covered almost complete genres of employee including professional, clerical, mechanical and technical jobs cover everything starting from artists, editors, guides, hosts nurses, librarians to dental technicians. As per the break order, an employee can take 10-minute break, probably in the middle of any four hour work period.  If an employee has worked for three and one-half hours, he is not entitled to get any rest break.

An employer cannot deduct break times from the hour’s employee has worked.  There are some categories for which special rules are formed. According to IWC order 5-2001 item 12, Employees may postpone of adjusting their breaks to ensure that their children are supervised.

Meal Period Law

According to California labor law section 512 , employers has to allow an unpaid 30 minute work break in a workday in every five hours working. However, employer and employee can give up the meal break if the total work hours are not more than six hours. If a workday consists of ten hours, it will require two breaks of thirty minutes. Again, both employer and employee can mutually waive the second break if the total work hours are of twelve hours.  People who are working in the broadcast sector are an exception. The employer must give compensation for the time spent at lunch if the employee has to give up the break and present on duty.

IWC – Industrial Welfare Commission


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