GrahamHollis APC

Is my employer required to provide meal and rest breaks?

Many employees in California are unaware that their employers have a legal obligation to provide uninterrupted meal and rest breaks. So, what exactly defines an unpaid meal or rest break at work?

Off-duty meal period

If you work in California, your employer is required to provide a 30-minute off-duty break when you work more than five hours in a day. This meal period must meet certain criteria, which include:

  • You are relieved of all your duties during this break.
  • Someone else is in temporary control of your activities.
  • Your 30-minute break is uninterrupted.
  • Your employer gives you a reasonable opportunity to take the break.
  • Your employer doesn't discourage you from taking the break.
  • You are entitled to two 30-minute breaks if your work day extends to 10 hours.

If your boss or coworkers are unreasonably pressuring you to work during your meal period, your employer probably isn't fulfilling a legal obligation.

In addition, you're also allowed to take your breaks off-site, since you are not on the clock. Your employer might require that you spend your meal period at your jobsite. If so, they need to pay you for those breaks.

Missed meal break

As an employee, you may be entitled to additional pay if you are denied meal or rest breaks. While you are responsible for taking the meal breaks provided, employers are not allowed to deny rightful breaks to employees.

Keep in mind: there is a statute of limitations on meal and rest break claims. In California, you have up to three years from the last violation to bring a claim against your employer. Regardless of filing deadlines, you should contact an attorney at your earliest convenience if your rights as an employee were violated.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
An Evaluation Of The Facts
Is Your First Step
Request Free Case Evaluation

Contact GrahamHollis APC Find The Right Attorney For Your Case

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

This site uses Google's Invisible reCAPTCHA, which is subject to Google's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


San Diego

San Diego Office
3555 Fifth Avenue
Suite 200
San Diego, CA 92103

Toll Free: 866-568-4521
Fax: 619-692-0822
San Diego Law Office Map

Orange Office
1740 West Katella Avenue
Suite C
Orange, CA 92867

Toll Free: 866-568-4521
Map & Directions

Sherman Oaks Office
15250 Ventura Boulevard
Suite 410
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Toll Free: 866-568-4521
Map & Directions

San Francisco Office
44 Montgomery Street
Suite 550
San Francisco, CA 94104

Toll Free: 866-568-4521
Map & Directions

West Sacramento Office
1550 Harbor Blvd
Suite 300
West Sacramento, CA 95691

Toll Free: 866-568-4521
Map & Directions