GrahamHollis APC

Are you owed compensation for denied meal and rest breaks?

It's more common than most people realize: employers fail to provide employees with meal and rest breaks. In fact, if you're a nonexempt employee in California, state law requires your employer to provide you with uninterrupted meal and rest breaks.

Sometimes employees are denied these breaks over the course of months or even years, so the time and the owed wages can really add up. If your right to meal and rest breaks has been denied, you could be owed significant compensation.

Employees who are 'on call' are often denied their rightful breaks.

If you are an on-call worker, and particularly if you use a walkie-talkie for work-related communications, you are more likely to have your right to meal and rest breaks denied. That's because walkie-talkie communications or even text messages on your phone could interrupt your breaks. You may be owed significant compensation if interruptions happen frequently.

On-call workers whose rights have been violated may include hotel employees, entertainment industry workers, security guards, ambulance drivers and others.

Meal and rest breaks must be fully compliant with the law.

How do you know if your rights have been violated? These are the rules in California:

Rest breaks

  • Nonexempt employees must be provided with a paid 10-minute rest break for each four-hour period the employee works.
  • The rest break must be free of all work-related duties.
  • If your employer doesn't allow rest breaks, you're entitled to one additional full hour of pay for each day that your employer didn't provide you with a paid rest break.

Meal breaks

  • Nonexempt employees must be provided with a meal break of at least 30 minutes when the employee works more than five hours in a day.
  • The 30-minute meal break must be given before the end of the fifth hour of work.
  • The meal break must be completely free of all work duties.
  • The employer must provide a second meal break of at least 30 minutes if the employee's work period extends beyond 10 hours.

If you have questions about these matters, speak with an employment law attorney about your rights and the possibility of obtaining full compensation for any wages you are owed.

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