Rest Periods In California Explained

Rest Periods for California Employees

Under California labor law employees whose totally daily work is three and a half hours or more are entitled to a ten-minute rest period for every four hours of work (or major fraction thereof I.e. more than two hours is considered a major fraction of four) which is to be taken in the middle of each four-hour period as is practical. A second rest break is owed if an employee works more than six hours up to ten hours, a third break is due if an employee works more than ten hours up to fourteen hours, and so on and so forth.Exceptions apply, and further, unlike meal breaks, rest breaks count as time worked and therefore the employee must be paid for the time taken for the rest break. As a result, employers may require their employees to remain on the premises during rest breaks.

One Hour of Pay for Each Unpaid Rest Break

Generally, an employer does not have to pay for time taken by the employee for a lunch break. The employee, however, must be relieved of all duty during the lunch break. If the employee is not relieved of all duty during the meal period, then it is considered “on duty” and is counted as paid time worked. Further, the employee must be permitted to leave the work premises for the lunch break, otherwise it is considered “on duty” and must be paid.